Environmental risk assessment of antifouling products in Germany

Biocidal antifouling products are subject to authorisation in Germany. In order to meet the requirements for authorisation, an environmental risk assessment must be carried out. With two publications, the Federal Environment Agency provides important notes and information on the general conditions for this assessment in Germany. These publications are presented briefly below.

Antifouling products containing biocides are usually used to protect boat hulls from growth with algae, mussels or barnacles. In the EU, biocidal products are subject to an authorisation requirement in accordance with Regulation (EU) No. 528/2012 ("Biocide Regulation"). An essential part of the authorisation procedure is the environmental risk assessment. Here it is checked whether the use of an antifouling product causes acceptable risks to the environment. In addition to ecotoxicity and environmental fate, the basis for this risk assessment is also the expected environmental exposure, which is calculated using realistic worst-case scenarios.

Frequently asked questions
Which special requirements the environmental risk assessment must meet in the context of an application for product authorisation in Germany is outlined in a FAQ-Document. You can find these questions and answers in the document „Authorisation and environmental risk assessment of biocidal antifouling products“.

Scenario for inland water marinas – pleasure craft
There are around 206,000 pleasure craft in Germany. Daehne et al. (2017) and Feibicke et al. (2018) estimated that in 2016 around 19% of the total copper loads in German surface waters came from biocidal antifouling coatings on pleasure craft. 71% of the pleasure craft in Germany are berthed in inland areas. This area is therefore particularly relevant in Germany and must be given special consideration in the environmental risk assessment of antifouling products. Therefore, on the basis of two research projects carried out on behalf of the Federal Environment Agency and funded by the Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, an exposure scenario for pleasure craft in German inland waters was developed.

The derivation of the scenario as well as all relevant parameters for its application are presented in the report “German scenario for inland water marinas“.

The data required for the application are provided in the data folder „German scenario for inland water marinas – data“.