Not Logged In, Login,

Tuesday, November 13, 2018


The international shipping industry has called for a sensible phase-out of TBT based anti fouling paints, including the option of sealing old coatings, and for as much certainty as possible concerning the dates when such paints will be prohibited internationally.

The comments have been made by ICS, BIMCO, Intercargo, Intertanko, OCIMF, and SIGGTO in a joint industry submission to governments attending an important IMO Conference in the first week of October, which is expected to agree the TBT phase-out measures through a new International Convention on the Control of Harmful Anti-Fouling Systems.

The shipping industry has accepted the scientific evidence which has led to the imminent ban on TBTs, although the cost of ensuring a clean hull with alternative coatings is set to increase significantly.  But there are two vital issues on which the industry organisations are still seeking reassurance.

An ICS spokesman explained:

“There must be early implementationof the new rules.  The dates for banning the further use of TBT paints (January 2003) and for their final elimination (January 2008) have already been established by an IMO resolution, and environmentally conscious operators are already planning accordingly.  IMO must ensure that these agreed phase-out dates remain a certainty, and the industry strongly urges the Conference to avoid an unproductive debate about entry into force criteria.”

The ICS spokesman added:

“We are also pressing the Conference to accept that existing hull coatings may be sealed, to provide a barrier against leaching from TBT paints.  There must be agreement that the industry and the environment will be spared having to remove existing and exhausted coatings.  We are all agreed thatsealing old coatings is by far the best solution.”

Click here for a copy of the joint industry submission to the IMO Conference


The International Conference on the Control of Harmful Anti-Fouling Systems for Ships will meet at the International Maritime Organization, London, between 1-5 October 2001.

The industry was proposed that the criteria for entry into force of the new International Convention on the Control of Harmful Anti-Fouling Systems should follow the model provided in the International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation (OPRC Convention). That is, to enter into force twelve months after the date on which not less than fifteen States have either signed it without reservation as to ratification, acceptance or approval, or have deposited the requisite instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession.

Contact: Tim Wilkins, e-mail:

ICS is the International Chamber of Shipping
is the Baltic and International Maritime Council
Intercargo is the International Association of Dry Cargo Shipowners
is the International Association of Independent Tanker Owners
OCIMF is Oil Companies International Marine Forum
SIGTTO is the Society of International Gas Tankers and Terminal Operators