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July 15, 2002

European Commission moves on antifouling
The European Commission is proposing measures to prohibit the use of TBT (organotin) antifouling paints on European Union flagged ships by January 1 2003 and by January 12008, on all ships irrespective of their flag.

The Commission says the prohibition will encourage Member States to ratify as soon as possible the new International Convention on the Control of Harmful Anti-fouling Systems (AFS-Convention) and contribute to an early implementation at international level. The October 2001 AFS-Convention will prohibit the use of harmful organotins in anti-fouling paints used on ships and will establish a mechanism to prevent the potential future use of other harmful substances in anti-fouling systems. The Convention has been open for signature since February 1, 2002. It will however only enter into force 12 months after 25 States representing 25 % of the world's merchant shipping tonnage have ratified it.

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