American Coatings Association

IPPIC and IMarEST to Launch Template for Biofouling Management Plan


At the October 2016 meeting of the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 70), the International Paint and Printing Ink Council, Inc. (IPPIC) and the Institute of Maritime Engineering, Science & Technology (IMarEST) submitted to the session a paper (MEPC 70/INF.23) that provides a template for the completion of a biofouling management plan to the IMO to help ship owners and operations comply with their obligations under the Guidelines for the Control and Management of Ships’ Biofouling to Minimize the Transfer of Invasive Aquatic Species, which were adopted in July 2011.

The IMO Guidelines provide that the biofouling management measures that must be undertaken on a ship should be outlined in a biofouling management plan, and provide an example of a biofouling management plan. While the Guidelines details the information that is important to be recorded, until now, no formal template had been provided to help capture that information. IPPIC and IMarEST subsequently worked to make a user-friendly template to facilitate the capture of information required by the Guidelines available to interested parties.

IPPIC and IMarEST wish the template to serve IMO member states and classification societies, along with ship owners and operators, in the adoption of an effective biofouling management plan.

The template encompasses the issues that need to be considered and discussed in the process of:

  • Choosing the antifouling system (AFS) for the external hull by using a check list system for the discussions between the paint suppliers and the customers;
  • Choosing the best available paint technology specifically for niche areas where hydrodynamic conditions differ from those found on the external hull; and
  • Any planned management actions to be completed between planned dry-dockings to minimize the biofouling on the hull.

“The marine coatings industry has supported the shipping industry in preventing the translocation of invasive species with effective fouling control products for generations,” commented Dr. Gareth Prowse, chair the IPPIC Antifouling Coatings Committee. “This particular collaboration reflects a focus on helping ship owners and operators select the right product for the right niche area and making their reporting obligations as simple as possible.”

“The introduction of aquatic invasive species to new marine and freshwater environments through ships’ ballast water and sediments and through hull fouling is considered to be one of the greatest threats to the world’s freshwater, coastal and marine environments and to marine biodiversity,” said IMarEST Chief Executive David Loosley. “As such, we are delighted to be playing a role in supporting the implementation of international guidelines in this area.”

IPPIC provides a forum for information exchange and cooperation on the major issues and priorities facing the paint and printing ink industries worldwide; IMarEST is the international professional body and learned society for marine professionals.

Notably, IPPIC is comprised of members representing associations from Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, EU, France, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa, Turkey, United Kingdom, and the United States. The Secretariat position is currently served by the American Coatings Association (ACA).

For more information about IPPIC and the activities it is involved in on behalf of the global paint and coatings industry, visit

Contact ACA’s Allen Irish for more information.