International Convention on the Control of Harmful Anti-fouling Systems on Ships

General Detail

General Information

  1. Type: Convention
  2. Date of signature:
  3. Place of signature: London, United Kingdom
  4. Depositary:
  5. Date of entry into force: 17/09/2008


Transport and telecommunications

Sub category

Maritime shipping and load lines



What is it about?

This instrument prohibits the use of harmful chemical compounds named organotins in anti-fouling paints used on ships, whereas anti-fouling paints are used to coat the bottoms of ships to prevent sea life from attaching to them. The present Convention also establishes a mechanism to prevent the potential future use of other harmful substances in anti-fouling systems.

Why is it relevant?

This Convention aims for a ban on the application of organotin-based systems. Such systems, which act as biocides in anti-fouling paint on ships, slowly ‘leach’ into seawater, killing sea life, harming the environment, and possibly entering the food chain.

Additional Information

This Convention applies to all ships, fixed and floating platforms, floating storage units (FSUs), and Floating Production Storage and Offtake units (FPSOs).

  • Convention on the International Maritime Organization (Geneva, 06/03/1948).


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