Non-biocidal substitution for biocidal antifouling coatings

Biocidal antifouling coatings should only be used as a last resort. Their substitution with non-biocidal alternatives is the key to achieve proper and sustainable use . Existence of non-biocidal alternatives also needs to be considered during the comparative assessments of biocidal antifouling coatings. This website provides information on substitutes for biocidal antifouling.

Non-biocidal measures to control harmful fouling organisms can be used to reduce the use of biocidal antifoulings and their unintended effects on non-target organisms and the environment to the minimum necessary. This is especially of relevance for products containing active substances which were identified as candidates for substitution under the Biocidal Products Regulation 528/2012. According to Article 23 of the Regulation, non-chemical control or prevention methods need to be considered during the comparative assessments. These alternatives need to present a significantly lower overall risk for human health, animal health and the environment, be sufficiently effective and present no other significant economic or practical disadvantages.

Their consideration in the comparative assessment is strongly impeded by missing compilations of potential substitutes including their evaluation. For this reason, this website provides information on potential non-biocidal substitutes to biocidal antifoulings that have been evaluated according to defined criteria.

For biocidal antifoulings, non-biocidal underwater coatings, cleaning systems or systems preventing contact of the moored ship to organisms may be considered as the most important one-to-one substitutes to biocidal antifoulings. They are already independently evaluated in the eco-label “Blue Angel”, including criteria on efficacy.

Blue Angel
The Blue Angel for “Underwater coatings and other anti-fouling systems” (DE-UZ 221) includes non-bicidal underwater coatings, cleaning systems or systems preventing contact of the moored ship to organisms. The basic award criteria needing to be fulfilled to be awarded with the eco-label are published in English. The products awarded with the eco-label are published on the website of the Blue Angel. As the basic award criteria have only been adopted in 2022, no products are yet listed (September 2022).

List of biocide-free coatings and fouling prevention techniques
The laboratory for limnic, marine research and comparative pathology (LimnoMar) provides a list of biocide-free fouling protection products on its homepage. According to LimnoMar, the list is updated regularly, but does not claim to be exhaustive and does not provide an evaluation of effectiveness. Information on new products can be addressed directly to the institute.

If you are aware of any other independent evaluations of non-biocidal alternatives, that should be listed on this website, please contact us via the contact form.