In the new European Pesticide Regulation (EC) No. 1107/2009, the harmonisation of approaches for estimation of the environmental exposure of pesticides is considered a major goal. Several member states currently require their own models for the calculation of predicted environmental concentrations (PEC) in surface water. The variety of methods makes risk evaluations rather time-consuming for both notifiers and evaluating authorities. In the present study we compare surface water concentrations of 19 compounds using EU and country-specific models and risk assessment approaches to evaluate to which extent the resulting estimated exposure concentrations differ. Our results show that EU and country specific approaches and the resulting surface water concentrations differ considerably regarding basic model assumptions and assessment methods. The results indicate that the aimed harmonisation of risk assessment approaches within the EU will be difficult based on current models. New scenarios may help to achieve a harmonisation taking country-specific features into account. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.