a. all Isle of Man registered ships, including fixed or floating platforms, floating storage units (FSUs) and floating production storage and off-loading units (FPSOs);
b. foreign registered ships visiting IOM ports; and
c. fixed or floating platforms engaged in the exploration and exploitation of the seabed and subsoil in Isle of Man territorial waters.
The AFS Order does not apply to warships, naval auxiliary or other ships owned or operated by a State and used only on government non-commercial services.
For vessels of less than 24 metres in length (mainly recreational craft and fishing vessels operating locally from IOM ports) there are no formal survey and certification requirements.
The AFS Order prohibits such vessels from using anti-fouling systems that are not compliant with the AFS Convention.
All anti-fouling systems available on the Island comply with the AFS Convention due to the REACH Enforcement Regulations 2008 (Application) Order 2010, which prohibits the importation of the products that are controlled within the AFS Convention to the IOM.
Ship Operator’s Responsibility
It is the responsibility of the operator to ensure ships comply with the requirements of the AFS Order and it is prohibited for a ship to go to sea without a valid International AFS Certificate or Declaration on AFS (Refer to section 5 & 6). Non-compliance is an offence under the IOM AFS Order.
“Operator” in relation to a ship means the owner or any other person who has assumed responsibility for the operation of the ship from the owner and who on assuming that responsibility has agreed to take over all the duties and responsibilities imposed by the AFS Convention.
Controls on Anti-fouling Systems
Ship operators have a duty to ensure that if any ships they operate have an anti-fouling system it must meet the criteria set out in the table below.
Ships must be maintained to the criteria to ensure continued compliance with the requirements.
Survey Requirements - Ships of 400gt and over:
Ships of 400gt and over operating on international voyages (excluding fixed or floating platforms, FSUs, and FPSOs) must be surveyed; on successful completion of the survey, an International AFS Certificate will be issued.
The survey requirements are as follows:
a. an initial survey before the ship is put into service or when the ship is for the first time in dry dock for the application of an anti-fouling system; and
b. a survey when the anti-fouling system is changed or replaced, undertaken to enable the endorsement of the International AFS Certificate.
All surveys should be carried out in accordance with IMO Resolution MEPC.358(78) – 2022 Guidelines for Survey and Certification of Anti-fouling Systems on Ships.
Repairs do not generally require a survey. However, repairs affecting approximately 25% or more of the anti-fouling system are considered by the IOM to be a change or replacement of the anti-fouling system.
An anti-fouling system that undergoes such a repair must be updated or replaced with an anti-fouling system that is compliant with the AFS Convention.
The survey and certification of anti-fouling systems for vessels of 400gt and over have been delegated to the Recognised Organisations stated in MSN 020.
When a ship transfers flag to the IOM Ship Registry, a new International AFS Certificate may be issued based on the certificate issued by the previous Administration; if the record of anti-fouling is up to date, the certificate was valid at the time of transfer, and the previous Administration is a Party to the AFS Convention.
Where those criteria have not been met, an initial survey must be carried out prior to the issue of a new International AFS Certificate.
Documentation Requirements - Ships of 24 metres or more in length but less than 400gt
Ships of 24 metres or more in length but less than 400gt (excluding fixed or floating platforms, FSUs, and FPSOs) do not require a survey but must carry a Declaration on Anti-fouling System signed by the owner or authorized agent.
The Declaration must be accompanied by appropriate documentation supporting the fact that the anti-fouling system is compliant with the AFS Convention; for example, a paint receipt or contractor invoice, or the endorsement section on the Declaration must be completed.
Appendix 1 provides the model form for the Declaration on Anti-fouling System.
In addition to the offenses in paragraph 3, a ship that fails to comply with the AFS Order may have its AFS certification withdrawn until any deficiencies raised have been rectified, which may result in the vessel’s sailing being delayed.
During International Safety Management inspections or Large Commercial Yacht Code Compliance inspections, the IOM surveyor will check the International AFS Certificate or Declaration on AFS (whichever is applicable) to ensure the ship complies with the AFS Convention.
Ships with no Anti-fouling Systems
On the International AFS Certificate or Declaration on AFS, the part headed ‘Details of anti-fouling system(s) applied’ or ‘Type(s) of anti-fouling system(s) used’ should be filled out stating the ship does not have an anti-fouling system.
Fixed or Floating Platforms, FSUs or FPSOs
The AFS Convention applies to any fixed or floating platform, FSU, or FPSO. They are, therefore, prohibited from having compounds controlled within the AFS Convention applied and from bearing such compounds.
However, the survey and certification regime does not apply to fixed or floating platforms, FSUs, or FPSOs.
All fixed or floating platforms, FSUs, and FPSOs should have some form of documentary evidence readily available on board to demonstrate compliance with the AFS Convention.
Port State Control - Inspection and Detention
The application, re-application, installation, or use of non-IMO compliant anti-fouling systems is not permitted in an IOM port or shipyard.
A foreign ship may be inspected in an IOM port or shipyard in accordance with IMO Resolution MEPC.357(78) for the purpose of determining whether the ship is in compliance with the AFS Convention.
Unless there are clear grounds for believing that a ship is in violation of this Convention, any such inspection shall be limited to:
a. verifying that, where required, there is onboard a valid International AFS Certificate or a Declaration on AFS; and/or
b. a brief sampling of the anti-fouling system taken in line with MEPC.356 (78) – ‘2022 Guidelines for Brief Sampling of Anti-Fouling Systems on Ships’ that does not affect the integrity, structure, or operation of the anti-fouling system. Where this is required, the IOM will request the ship’s operator to arrange for a sample to be taken, which will be witnessed by an IOM or Classification Society surveyor. The sample will be analysed by an accredited laboratory or facility and the results will be presented back to the surveyor. The time required to process the results of such sampling shall not be used as a basis for preventing the movement and departure of the ship.
If the ship is detected to be in violation of the AFS Convention, the IOM Ship Registry may take steps to warn, detain, dismiss, or exclude the ship from an IOM port.
The Ship Registry shall also inform the Administration of the ship concerned that the ship does not comply with the convention and give details of any further action taken.