Two sea routes have been defined to cross the Arctic, enabling ships to move between the Atlantic ocean and the Pacific ocean and thus have the possible status as international strait (or waters) giving right to transit passage.
Both of them overlap significantly the jurisdiction of either Canada or Russia, which can create certain legal difficulties if or when Trans-Arctic shipping becomes a reality.
If sea ice continues to retreat in the Arctic, a central Arctic shipping route can possibly become a reality.
This would also reduce the distance that needs to be covered by marine vessels.
On the menu to the left more information can be found on the Northwest Sea Route and the Northeast Sea Route, as well as the more distant possibility of the Central Arctic shipping route.