Award criteria for certification of biocide-free antifouling systems with the Blue Angel

German Environmental Agency, 3719654150, project duration 09/2019 – 08/2021


German Environmental Agency (FKZ 3719654150)


Dr. Brill + Partner GmbH Institute for Antifouling and Biocorrosion, Norderney, Dipl. Geograph Bernd Daehne (project management), Dr. Burkard Watermann, Limnomar

Hydrotox GmbH, Freiburg, Dr. Ines Heisterkamp, Dr. Stefan Gartiser

Project duration

September 2019 – August 2021

Project description

The approval of biocidal antifouling active substances under the Biocidal Products Regulation partly revealed a significant potential environmental risk from the use of authorized antifouling products. Thus, the use of biocide-free and effective antifouling systems should be promoted in order to minimize the input of biocides into the environment. However, these alternatives are currently not subject to regulatory evaluation. The award of an eco-label to biocide-free antifouling products aims at promoting the user´s confidence in the independent assessment of the environmental performance and effectiveness of these alternatives.

The project aims at developing award criteria for one or two eco-labels for biocide-free antifouling product groups. The main focus will be the definition of quantitative criteria for the proof of efficacy/usability and the evaluation of the washout of hazardous substances and their ecotoxicity. Hereby, it will be distinguished between alternative hull coatings (silicone coatings, polymer brushes, hard and soft coatings next to adhesive films) and other antifouling systems (mobile underwater canvas, boat lifts or chemical/physical systems with ultrasound). The criteria should be selected in such a way that the entry of substances of concern into the environment is prevented or minimized.

The development of criteria will be elaborated in close cooperation with potential contractors of the Blue Angel eco-label. The project starts with a market and literature research on available alternatives, which are evaluated systematically. The draft award criteria will be presented and discussed at a stakeholder workshop with potential contractors and experts from authorities and environmental associations.

Contact person at Hydrotox

Dr. Ines Heisterkamp
Hydrotox GmbH
Bötzinger Str. 29
D-79111 Freiburg
Tel.: +49-761- 4 55 12-0
E-Mail: heisterkamp(at)hydrotox.de