Intertanko Guide to Modern Antifouling Systems and Biofouling Management



( An increased focus on hull performance for improved vessel efficiency as well as the need to minimise the transfer of invasive species on ships’ hulls has seen the importance of antifouling coating selection elevated in many shipping companies.

However, since the entry into force of the IMO’s Antifouling Convention (AFS) in September 2008 and the subsequent banning of organotin-based antifouling systems, such as those containing tributyl-tin (TBT), there exists a wide diversity and
consequential effectiveness of antifouling products. This has become increasingly relevant in recent years due to changes in the market, with vessel speeds now much lower, and an introduction of regional biofouling legislation. Both factors have also led, to a certain degree, to an increase in underwater hull cleaning.

INTERTANKO’s Environmental Committee members first considered the problems in selecting suitable antifouling systems in 2013 and subsequently considered the need for modern coatings to address not only antifouling but changing vessel trading patterns, increased cleaning cycles and greater scrutiny for both hull efficiency and regulatory compliance.

This Guide provides advice on the current antifouling systems on the market and the operational challenges associated with performance measurement and hull management. In terms of hull management, one of the key areas of focus in this guide is the increasing need to undertake hull cleaning.

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