Overview of MSP related maritime uses

  • The Swedish marine area is the largest in the Baltic Sea region.
  • Current uses:
    • Shipping
    • Offshore renewable energy production
    • Military
    • Fisheries
    • Aquaculture
    • Tourism
    • Nature conservation
    • Under water cultural heritage

Which maritime spatial plans exist?

Up-to now, there exist no national marine spatial plans covering the territorial sea and the EEZ developed in Sweden. Three plans covering the territorial sea and the EEZ are under preparation: Skagerrak/Kattegat, Baltic Sea and Gulf of Bothnia.

On 1 December 2016 SwAM published early draft MSP-proposals for all three national MSP areas (Gulf of Bothnia, Baltic Sea and Skagerrak/Kattegat). In January/February 2017 environmental impact assessments (within the SEA-processes) were published. The drafts and the EIA are the basis for a broad dialogue with trade organisations, NGOs, central government agencies, regional government bodies (County Administrative Boards), regions, municipalities, academia and neighbouring countries.

In parallel a Sustainability Appraisal is carried out for one the Baltic Sea draft (testing methodology).

The dialogue is continuous throughout the entire planning process, but this early draft phase is ongoing.

Next steps:

  • Publication of first round proposals for plan proposals with environmental impact assessments (prel. Feb 2018). Broad public 6-months consultation.
  • Publication of second round proposals for plan proposals with environmental impact assessments (Dec 2018). Broad public 3 months (prel) consultation.
  • Final plan proposals submitted to the Government (prel. Dec 2019) 

MSP legislation

The Swedish Environmental Code (EC, 1998:808) and the Plan and Building Act (2010:900) constitute the legal basis for MSP in Sweden. According to the Environmental Code there shall be three marine spatial plans: Bothnian Bay, Baltic Sea, Western Waters (Skagerrak/Kattegatt) covering the area one nautical mile from the baseline seawards (incl. the EEZ). The plans, which shall be adopted by the Government, shall be guiding and contribute to sustainable development. The Government may according to the legislation adopt regulations prohibiting or limiting activities in destined geographical areas. The MSP process is regulated by the Marine Spatial Planning Ordinance (2015:400), which contains provisions on geographical boundaries, the content of the marine spatial plans, the responsibility for preparation, consultation and cooperation in the proposal process, and monitoring and review. In parallel, the Plan and Building Act (PBL Act, 2010:900) regulates the responsibilities and mandate for the municipalities to plan land and water including the territorial sea.

National MSP authority

Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management (SwAM)

Marine Spatial Planning and Maritime Affairs

Thomas Johansson

Head of Marine Spatial Planning and Maritime Affairs

Box 11930, SE-404 39 Göteborg, Sweden

Phone: +46 (0)10-698 60 19


Ministry of Environment and Energy Regeringskansliet

Ida Reuterswärd

SE-103 33 Stockholm, Sweden

Phone: +46 (0)8 405 4349



Last Update 24.09.2018