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Last Updated Sunday, October 4 2015


Published August 9, 2005
 The International Maritime Organization (IMO), the United Nations Specialized Agency with responsibility
for the safety of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships, signed an agreement
at a meeting in London, England on October 5, 2001, calling for the prohibition of harmful organotins
in antifouling paints used on ships and the establishment of a mechanism to prevent the potential
future use of other harmful substances in antifouling systems. Under the terms of the convention,
member countries of the IMO are required “to prohibit and/or restrict the use of harmful
antifouling systems on ships flying their flag, as well as ships not entitled to fly their flag but which
operate under their jurisdiction, and all ships that enter a port, shipyard or offshore terminal of a
member nation.” Member nations are required to ban the continued use of organotin-containing
antifouling paints by Jan. 1, 2003, and to fully eliminate these paints from all ships by Jan. 1, 2008.
A provision is included in the agreement allowing ships to place a coating over non-compliant materials
that forms a barrier and prevents them from leaching into the water.
Response throughout the coatings industry has been positive and supportive. The European
Council of Paint Manufacturers (CEPE) released a statement that its members “are committed
to comply with this resolution.”
Arch Chemicals, a specialty chemicals company, also released a statement praising the agreement.
“We welcome the IMO accord,” said Robert J. Martin, Arch’s global manager of marine paints. Arch has
already developed alternative biocides for use in antifouling paints. “We are confident that we can fill
a significant portion of the void left by the removal of the presence of banned marine paints from the
market,” Mr. Martin said.
Carol Rosler of marine paint manufacturer Jotun sees the decision as an opportunity. “We support
the resolution and look upon it as a unique opportunity to work with our customers to meet not only
IMO demands, but their own demands as well,” she said. “Our goal is to partner with our customers to
help educate them regarding the IMO’s

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