Published: October 11, 2018

In response to growing concerns over the impact of hull biofouling on the marine environment, BIMCO and a group of industry partners have set out to create an internationally recognised standard. The group consists of eight different organisations, including paint manufacturers, ship owners and cleaning companies. The standard is expected to be finalised in the autumn of 2019.

Today, underwater cleaning is only allowed in a few locations around the world, and there is a trend for coastal and port states to tighten their rules for underwater cleaning, as well as an increase in ports prohibiting it all together. This may increase emissions from shipping as fouling increases the fuel consumption or, in the worst case may force the ship to change its route.

The standard will ensure that the cleaning is carried out in accordance with a set of specifications, the environmental impact of the process and coating damage is controlled and the cleaning process is planned, safe and effective. Part of the standard will therefore relate to how to ensure that the paint is not damaged during cleaning and that debris and wash-water is collected in a practicable and sustainable manner. The standard will also address how shipowners can use it in their ongoing maintenance plans and will establish an approval system for underwater cleaning companies which is currently an unregulated and fragmented market.

The standard will undergo thorough practical trials prior to launch, with the aim to send it to appropriate international organisations for endorsement. For additional information, please contact Rasmus Nord Jørgensen at BIMCO:

Mob: +45 2168 0421


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