Some anti-fouling paints can no longer be imported or manufactured in New Zealand after the Environmental Protection Authority determined they are too toxic to marine life.
Dr Stephen Cobb from the EPA’s Hazardous Substances Group says anti-fouling paints that contain the chemicals diuron, octhilinone or ziram are now banned.
“These paints are slow-release toxic coatings, and when numbers of boats are moored together in marinas and harbours, the substances build up to concentrations that can affect people and the environment.
“Anti-fouling paints have been a key biosecurity measure to prevent unwanted organisms being introduced and spread, and there are now alternatives which are less toxic to marine life in high concentrations,” says Stephen.
“An EPA Decision-Making Committee decided in a reassessment that the risks from some anti-fouling paints outweigh the benefits under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act.
“Retailers can continue to sell and use remaining stock, and the public can continue to use the last of their products if they wish,” Stephen adds.
From June 2023, anti-fouling paints that contain thiram will also be banned.
Read the anti-fouling paints guidance and disposal information.
Read our anti-fouling paint reassessment decision.