Anti-fouling Systems Convention to enter into force 17 September 2008

After announcing that it would ratify the International Convention on the Control of Harmful Anti-fouling Systems for Ships, 2001 (AFS Convention) during the IMO’s Marine Environmental Protection Committee (MEPC) meeting in July this year, Panama announced this week that it has now completed the task of ratification. This allows the Convention to enter into force on 17 September 2008.


In a statement issued this week, the IMO explained that Panama’s accession means that the entry into force requirement of 25 states representing more than 25% of the world’s merchant shipping tonnage has been met. Prior to Panama’s accession, 24 states representing only 16.63% of the world’s fleet had ratified the Convention since its adoption in 2001. Panama’s accession ensures the 25-state requirement is met and brings the world tonnage figure up to 38.11%.


Under the AFS Convention’s entry into force conditions, the requirements will only become mandatory some 12 months after the entry into force conditions are met, hence the delay until 17 September 2008.


The key requirement of the AFS Convention is the prohibition of tin-based anti-fouling systems on ships’ hulls. Note, however, that the European Union (EU) will not allow any ship into its ports or offshore terminals with a tin-based system on its hull after 1 January 2008.


Contact: Tim Wilkins