Next week at the IMO in London a Diplomatic Conference will be held to finalize the details of the Convention on the Control of Harmful Anti-fouling Systems. In particular the phasing out of tin based (TBT) anti-fouling systems will
be finalized with a system put in place to assess future anti-fouling systems.
INTERTANKO, together with the other main industry representatives ICS, Intercargo, SIGTTO, OCIMF and Bimco have submitted a paper to the Conference focusing on those issues which concern the industry and which still need to be resolved. One of the greatest concerns is the possibility of having to remove all trace of a TBT based coating after 2008 and so requiring the complete blasting of the hull. A favored option and one which has been flagged by INTERTANKO is that of having the option to either blast or use a sealer coating to cover the banned tin based paint
. This will be strongly argued for next week during the discussions. Other points highlighted by the industry paper include the need for a clear-cut entry into force criteria so that decisions regarding the coating of ships over the next 7 years are facilitated. Also, the banning of substances in the future must take into account the same time frame established for tin based systems, namely the five-year period between the non-application of the coat and the presence of the banned coat on the hull, as per the current system set out for TBT systems. (Source: INTERTANKO NEWS @ www.intertanko.com)