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Entry into force of Anti-Fouling Systems Convention

Entry into force of Anti-Fouling Systems Convention

The International Convention on the Control of Harmful Anti-fouling Systems on Ships, which was adopted on 5 October 2001, will enter into force on 17 September 2008.

A “harmful anti-fouling system” is currently defined as any system that includes organotin compounds which act as biocides, although there is provision for additional harmful systems to be included in the future. Compliance with the convention is achieved if the ship:

Does not bear such compounds on its hull or external parts or surfaces; or

Bears a coating that forms a barrier to such compounds leaching from the underlying non-compliant anti-fouling systems.

This applies to all ships except fixed or floating platforms, floating storage units (FSUs), and floating production storage and off-loading units (FPSOs) that have been constructed prior to 1 January 2003 and that have not been in dry-dock on or after 1 January 2003. While fixed or floating platforms, FSUs and FPSO which have been constructed prior to 1 July 2003, but have not been into dry dock on or after that date, are not legally required to comply with the ban on bearing TBT compounds, it is recommended that they do so as soon as is reasonably practicable.

Survey and Certification
Only ships of 400 gross tonnage and above (excluding fixed, floating platforms, FSUs and FPSOs) engaged in international voyages are subject to surveys under the Convention. Surveys are required as follows:

An initial survey before the ship is put into service or before the International Anti-Fouling System Certificate is issued for the first time; and

A survey when the anti-fouling systems are changed or replaced, undertaken to enable the endorsement of the Anti-Fouling System Certificate.

Similarly, only ships of 400 gross tonnage and above engaged in international voyages are required to have an International Anti-Fouling System Certificate. These certificates will be issued after a required survey, as outlined above, is completed. IRS has been authorized by various flag administrations for survey and issuance of International Anti-Fouling System Certificate.