Anti-Fouling Systems

Key Legislation:

For more detail on the Legislation relevant to this page, please see the following links:

Supporting Legislation:
Guidance:
  • MIN 291 Control of Anti-Fouling Systems on Ships
  • MIN 370 (M+F) UK Accession to the International Convention on the Control of Harmful Anti-Fouling Systems
  • A Marine Guidance Note (MGN) is in preparation. A Draft MGN (PDF document) is available on the MCA Website
Consent Needed: Fixed and Floating Platforms, FSU and FPSO  Although the Regulations apply to any fixed or floating platform, FSU or FPSO, the survey and certificate requirements set out in Annex I of the EC Regualtion and Annex 4 of the AFS Convention exclude these from the prescribed survey and certificate regime. However, for the purpose of the AFS Convention the Administration has set in place measures for ships that are not subject to the survey and certificate regime in order to show that they are in compliance with the Convention.The MCA have taken note of the operational difficulties which would arise from requiring fixed or floating Platforms, FSUs and FPSOs to be surveyed and certificated by the time the UK Regulation enters into force for ships in category a and b listed below.Therefore, the MCA has liaised with BEIS to establish appropriate requirements (see the Performance Standards tab). However, if and when the structure is removed from the seabed and is to be re-positioned then an AFS certificate/declaration will be required.Mobile Rigs and Platforms/FPSOs not Fixed to the Seabed

All Fixed or Floating Platforms, FSUs and FPSOs which are not fixed to the seabed, e.g. drilling rigs on voyages will require an AFS certificate/declaration to comply with the UK Regulations from the date that the UK Regulations come into force.

How to Apply: Survey and Certification are to be undertaken by a UK Recognised Classification Society.
Who to Apply to: Survey and Certification of the AFS have been delegated by the MCA to the following UK Recognised Classification Societies:

    • the American Bureau of Shipping
    • Bureau Veritas
    • Class NK
    • Det Norsk Veritas
    • Germanischer Lloyd
    • Lloyds Register
    • RINA
When to Apply: Fixed or Floating Platforms, FSU and FPSO  If and when any fixed or floating platform, FSU or FPSO is removed from the seabed and is to be repositioned then an AFS Certificate/Declaration will be required.Mobile Rigs and Platforms/FPSOs not Fixed to the SeabedAn AFS Certificate/Declaration is required when the UK Regulations come into force or prior to first sailing.
Anti-fouling System Restrictions: Fixed or Floating Platforms, FSUs and FPSOs constructed on or after 1 July 2003: these must either not bear organotin compounds at all, or if they do, then they must have a barrier coating to prevent the compounds from leaching. Fixed or Floating Platforms, FSUs and FPSOs constructed before 1 July 2003 and which have been in dry dock on or after 01 July 2003: similarly, these must either not bear organotin compounds at all, or if they do, then they must have a barrier coating to prevent the compounds from leaching.Fixed or Floating Platforms, FSUs and FPSOs constructed before 1 July 2003 but which have not been in dry dock since that date: the ban on application or bearing of organotin compounds still applies, and the MCA recommends that these ships do comply if and when it is reasonably practicable to do so. All Fixed or Floating Platforms, FSUs and FPSOs  which are not fixed to the sea bed e.g. drilling rigs on voyages must have an AFS certificate/declaration to comply with the UK Regulations from the date these come into force.
Requirement for EIA: If a Fixed or Floating Platform, FSU or FPSO has been repositioned after entering dry dock after 1 July 2003 and still has a TBT or organotin anti-fouling system (AFS) then an Environmental Impact Assessment will need to be undertaken and the MCA will act on a case by case basis.
Sampling/Monitoring: None known
What to Report: N/A
Who to Report to: N/A
When to Report: N/A
Inspection and Non-Compliance: Any ship covered by the 2008 Regulations is subject to Flag State Inspection if it is a UK ship, or to Port State Control if it is a foreign ship. These inspections will be limited to:

      • Verifying that the ship holds a valid Anti-Fouling Certificate, Record of Anti-Fouling Systems and or other appropriate documentation;
      • Investigating further the documentation where there are clear grounds for believing that the certificate, Record of Anti-Fouling Systems and or other appropriate documentation is incorrect; and
      • Requesting that the owner/manager of the ship undertake sampling of the Anti-Fouling System to show that the ship’s AFS is in compliance.

If, following such an inspection, the surveyor of ships believes that the ship does not hold a valid Anti-Fouling Certificate (or the other appropriate documentation), or if there are clear grounds for believing that the condition of the ship or its equipment does not correspond substantially with the particulars of that certificate, then the ship is liable to be detained, until a surveyor of ships is satisfied that the ship can proceed to sea without presenting an unreasonable threat of harm to the marine environment

Furthermore, the ship is liable to be detained where there are clear grounds for believing that an offence has been committed as set out in Regulation 14 of the 2008 Regulations.

Permit Duration: N/A
Renewal and Variation: N/A
Cancellation of Certificates: Certificates may be cancelled by the Secretary of State if he has reason to believe that the certificate was issued on false or erroneous information or if the AFS has sustained damage or is otherwise deficient. Certificates which have been cancelled or which have expired must be surrendered to the local MCA.
Pending Legislation: None at present.
Copper Antifouling Systems under Biocidal Products Directive:

A new legal requirement came into force under the EU Biocidal Products Directive 98/8/EC, prohibiting the supply and use of copper as a biocide when used in liquid-cooling and processing systems.

Copper is used offshore in a number of systems, for example sea water lift, fire water systems, injection systems, ballast systems and engine cooling HVAC cooling. Although this is not an exhaustive list, oil and gas operators should check all systems/vessels/installations using copper anti-fouling systems, or when used as a biocide in liquid-cooling and processing systems.