Legislation Governing Antifouling Paints

Antifouling & the Environment

What are the benefits of using an antifouling? A fouled hull is an economic and environmental disaster for a boat owner.

  • A fouled vessel can burn 40% more fuel, emits 40% more waste gasses (CO2 SOx) causing air pollution
  • A vessel can transport unwanted invasive species into sensitive ecosystems
  • This forces vessel to dry-dock prematurely, increasing pollution from boatyards

Antifouling & Legislation overview

Antifoulings are classed as biocidal products / pesticides; non-biocidal bottom paints do not fall under this classification. Antifoulings require review and pre-market registration prior to marketing and sale in North America.

  • All antifoulings need to be reviewed and assessed by the EPA before they can be registered under the Federal Insecticide Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA)

Antifouling & Legislation Biocidal Antifouling Paints

  • Registration is only granted if a full environmental risk assessment demonstrates a product can be used safely
  • Currently the IMO-AFS Convention bans use and presence of TBT (tri butyl tin) antifoulings on hulls of vessels.
  • This could potentially be amended to include other harmful antifoulings in future