Changes in Arctic Maritime Transport

This factsheet has been drafted as a basis for consultations with stakeholders within the EU Arctic Impact Assessment. The final report will be available in Spring 2014, and will constitute an outcome of developing the content of this factsheet partly in the light of input from stakeholders.

Maritime transport in the Arctic has increased in recent years. The growing traffic is closely linked to the development of economic activities within the Arctic and the export of raw materials such as petroleum and minerals. Arctic cruise tourism is also growing. A few ships have made transit voyages between Europe and Asia. 

The factsheet highlights:

  •  the main drivers of Arctic shipping,
  •  environmental and socio-political impacts of increased shipping,
  •  the significance of development of Arctic maritime traffic for the EU,
  •  the influence of the EU on the Arctic shipping.


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