News from Europe

03 October 2016

SEA SMRC and Sea Europe Joint Workshop On Biocidal Products: Another Environmental Challenge For The European Industry?

On 23 September, SEA SMRC and SEA Europe organised a joint workshop with representatives from the European Commission, European ship owners (ECSA), European ship repair yards and European paint manufacturers on the likely consequences of Regulation 528/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 May 2012 concerning the making available on the market and use of biocidal products.

528/2012 aims at improving the functioning of the internal market through a harmonisation of the rules on the availability and use of biocidal products (antifouling). These products are necessary for the control of organisms that are harmful to human or animal health and for the control of organisms that cause damage to natural or manufactured materials.

The European industry, consisting of European ship repair yards, European paint manufacturers and European ship owners fear that Regulation 528/2012 will not only create big challenges for the industry in terms of compliance. The legislation will also likely result in a distortion of competition to the detriment of the European industry because ships, repaired and/or painted outside the EU with forbidden antifoulings, will be allowed to continue to sail into EU waters and thereby emitting these harmful biocides.

Regulation 528/2012 is also expected to create additional burdens for the European industry, due to a lack of harmonised assessment procedures or the absence of mutual recognition of biocidal products amongst Member States.

SEA SMRC and SEA Europe, together with European ship owners and European paint manufacturers, called upon the European Commission as well as EU Member States to carefully assess the various matters raised by the industry and to discuss them thoroughly in the coming months with an aim at overcoming the current burdens and challenges faced by the European industry.

At the same time, SEA SMRC, SEA Europe, European ship owners and European paint manufacturers also believed that this matter merits to be regulated at international level, via the International Maritime Organisation in London, with an aim at creating a global level playing field to the benefit of the European environment as well as European business.


SEA SMRC is a group of enterprises and national associations that are active in or have members operating in the sector of ship repair, ship maintenance and ship conversion. The Group meets under the umbrella of SEA Europe but is independent from the regular SEA Europe structure. SEA SMRC provides a forum for discussion on all matters related to the European SMRC sector and promotes the significance of the sector’s importance to the European economy. SEA Europe brings together CESA and EMEC and represents an industry which generates more than €91 billion turnover annually and offers employment in high profile jobs for more than 500 000 Europeans. The association represents close to 100% of the European shipbuilding industry in 18 nations, encompassing the production, maintenance, repair and conversion of all types of ships and floating structures, commercial as well as naval including the full supply chain with the various producers of maritime systems, equipment material, and services. w: and

Sander den Heijer - Executive Secretary of SEA SMRC
t: +31 (0)88 44 51 036 

Christophe Tytgat - SEA Europe Secretary General
t: +32 (0)2 230 32 87