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Wednesday, November 14, 2018 

BIMCO is to survey its shipowner members to gain information on how they manage the problem of biofouling an environmental issue gaining considerable attention at a regulatory level.

Fouling on a ship's hull significantly reduces hydrodynamic performance and increases fuel consumption, which impacts ships’ emissions and can potentially transfer invasive species from one region to another.

The industry has recently seen local and regional regulations manadating the use of a biofouling management plan. One example is New Zealand, where all ships arriving in the country from 1 May 2018, are required to have a clean hull in accordance with the Craft Risk Management Standard for Biofouling (CRMS). Australia and the Unites States have also announced their own regulation covering biofouling management.

However, while there are currently not international rules, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) is working on ways to address how to improve biofouling management. The results from the BIMCO survey aims to feed into this work.

BIMCO and a group of industry partners have set out to create an internationally recognised standard on underwater hull and propeller cleaning to reduce the impact of biofouling on the marine environment.

The group consists of eight different organisations, including paint manufacturers, ship owners and cleaning companies taking a holistic approach to establish an international standard that will work in practice. The standard is expected to be finalized in the autumn of 2019.

BIMCO has also produced a Hull Fouling Clause for Time Charter Parties, which sets out the physical circumstances and the point in time when the responsibility for hull fouling passes from the owners to the charterers when an extended period of idleness is due to charterers’ orders.

To access the survey, click here: BIMCO's Biofouling Survey 2018

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