Last week’s IMO meeting of the Flag State Implementation sub-Committee (FSI) saw the furthering of the Anti-fouling Paints Convention and the development of the more practical aspects regarding the banning of tin based anti-fouling paints.

One of the key aspects of the anti-fouling legislation is the certification of ships which are in compliance with the Convention. This includes vessels already coated with compliant anti-fouling systems, vessels coated with tin-based anti-fouling systems prior to 2003 and vessels being re-coated with compliant systems after 2003. Generally this will involve obtaining a Statement of Compliance whilst the Convention is not in force and then a Certificate of Compliance once the legislation has been ratified. The FSI sub-Committee looked into the requirements of the owner when applying to the flag administration for a certificate of compliance. This broadly covers determining when a survey is required, requirements of an initial survey (for newbuildings and existing ships), the documentation required and the conduct of the survey. In most cases it will be adequate to provide documentary evidence to illustrate that the vessel is in compliance with the convention and so gain endorsement. However, should the flag administration deem it necessary, a sample of the coating will need to be taken by a surveyor.

The FSI sub-Committee agreed on a set of Guidelines for the Survey and Certification of Anti-fouling Paints, which will now be passed to the Marine and Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) for approval in October 2002.

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