EU Transport Council reaches agreement on TBT regulation

The Regulation will now be officially adopted at a forthcoming Council meeting.

The proposal for a Regulation is aimed at implementing the International Convention on the control of harmful anti-fouling systems on ships (AFS Convention) which was adopted by the IMO in October 2001. It foresees a ban on the application of organotin compounds by 1 January 2003 for ships flying the flag of an EU Member State or operating under its authority, with a complete ban applicable to all ships, regardless of their flag, as from 1 January 2008. However, given that for procedural reasons the Regulation cannot enter into force before 1 January 2003, the Council and the Parliament have agreed to apply the first prohibition three months after the entry into force of the Regulation, and no later than 1 July 2003.

The AFS Convention will not enter into force until one year after it has been ratified by at least 25 countries representing 25% of the world’s merchant shipping. The draft Regulation is seen as a means of accelerating ratification of the Convention.