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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
January 23, 2008

Message to the Senate of the United States


I transmit herewith, for the advice and consent of the Senate to its ratification, the International Convention on the Control of Harmful Anti-Fouling Systems on Ships, 2001 (the "Convention").

The Convention aims to control the harmful effects of anti fouling systems, which are used on the hulls of ships to prevent the growth of marine organisms. These systems are necessary to increase fuel efficiency and minimize the transport of hull borne species; however, anti fouling systems can also have negative effects on the marine environment, including when a vessel remains in place for a period of time (such as in port).

To mitigate these effects, the Convention prohibits Parties from using organotin-based anti-fouling systems on their ships, and it prohibits ships that use such systems from entering Parties' ports, shipyards, or offshore terminals. The Convention authorizes controls on use of other anti-fouling systems that could be added in the future, after a comprehensive review process.

The Convention was adopted at a Diplomatic Conference of the International Maritime Organization in October 2001 and signed by the United States on December 12, 2002. The United States played a leadership role in the negotiation and development of the Convention. With Panama's ratification of the Convention on September 17, 2007, 25 States representing over 25 percent of the world's merchant shipping tonnage have now ratified the Convention. Therefore, the Convention will enter into force on September 17, 2008.

Organotin-based anti-fouling systems are specifically regulated through the Organotin Anti-Fouling Paint Control Act of 1988 (OAPCA), 33 U.S.C. 2401-2410. New legislation is required to fully implement the Convention and will take the form of a complete revision and replacement of OAPCA. All interested executive branch agencies support ratification. I recommend that the Senate give early and favorable consideration to the Convention and give its advice and consent to its ratification, with the declaration set out in the analysis of Article 16 in the attached article-by-article analysis.



January 22, 2008.

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