The twenty-first session of the IMO Assembly in 1999 adopted resolution A.895(21) urging MEPC to work towards the expeditious development of a global legally binding instrument to address the harmful effects of anti-fouling systems used on ships. The resolution states that the global instrument, to be developed by MEPC, should ensure a global prohibition of the application of organotin compounds which act as biocides in anti-fouling systems on ships by 1 January 2003 and a complete prohibition on the presence of organotin compounds which act as biocides in anti-fouling systems on ships by 1 January 2008. A working group was established at MEPC, which took on the task of developing such a draft instrument.
In accordance with Article 2(b) of the Convention on the International Maritime Organization, the MEPC at its forty-third session recommended, and the twentieth extraordinary session of the Council decided, to convene a diplomatic conference to consider the adoption of a legal instrument on the control of harmful anti-fouling systems on ships.
In accordance with the decision of the Council, the International Conference on the Control of Harmful Anti-Fouling Systems for Ships, 2001, was convened by IMO and held in London at its Headquarters from 1 to 5 October 2001. The Conference adopted the International Convention on the Control of Harmful Anti-Fouling Systems on Ships, 2001 (the AFS Convention), together with four Conference resolutions, relating to the early and effective application of the AFS Convention, future work by the Organization pertaining to the AFS Convention, approval and test methodologies for anti-fouling systems on ships and the promotion of technical co-operation.
Article 11(1)(b) and (2) and regulation 1(4)(a) of annex 4 of the AFS Convention refer to the following guidelines to be developed by the Organization:
.1 Guidelines for survey and certification of anti-fouling systems on ships;
.2 Guidelines for brief sampling of anti-fouling systems on ships; and
.3 Guidelines for inspection of ships anti-fouling systems on ships.
Conference resolution 2 urges the Organization to develop the above-mentioned guidelines as a matter of urgency for them to be adopted before the entry into force of the AFS Convention, with a view to facilitating global and uniform implementation of the AFS Convention.
This 2005 edition, reproduces the texts of the International Convention on the Control of Harmful Anti-Fouling Systems on Ships, 2001, the four Conference resolutions, and the Guidelines developed and adopted by the Organization.
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