IMO unveils organotin phase-out convention

Global ban on toxic marine anti-fouling paint agreed after two years of negotiations

A global ban on the use of marine anti-fouling paints containing endocrine-disrupting organotin compounds was agreed today in London by members of the UN international maritime organisation (IMO), following almost two years of negotiations (EED 25/11/99).

The final agreement includes a 2003 deadline for ending further application of organotin-containing paints to ships' hulls. However, it is thought unlikely that this will be immediately legally binding because sufficient ratifications for the convention's entry into force are not expected to materialise in time. Individual governments could nevertheless enforce the measure on their own fleets.

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