Staff at Department of Food and Resource Economics – University of Copenhagen

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Regulating antifouling paints for leisure boats: a patchwork of rules across three Baltic Sea countries

Research output: Research - peer-reviewJournal article

Sara Kymenvaara, Helle Tegner Anker, Lasse Baaner, Ari Ekroos, Lena Gipperth, Janne Seppälä

This article analyses how the use of antifouling paints for leisure boats is regulated in Denmark, Finland and Sweden. All three countries appear to apply a somewhat fragmented approach to the different matters related to antifouling paints, including environmental quality (e.g. water quality), chemical products (e.g. authorisations or restrictions) and waste handling. The legislation related to antifouling paints and practices addresses a range of different actors and has varying legal implications on different regulatory levels. The most central actor as to the contamination by antifouling substances is the boat owner using antifouling paints and the context in which this activity normally occurs, i.e. the leisure boat marina or boat club. In the three jurisdictions analysed, environmental quality regulation appears unable to directly oblige either the boat owner or the marina to take sufficient measures and conduct. Environmental protection regulation, including waste legislation, generally excludes smaller leisure boat marinas and boat clubs from permitting and waste management requirements. In product regulation, the authorisation and/or restriction rules of antifouling paints (biocides) function as sort of an ‘advance supervision’ of chemical safety requirements, e.g. based on leaching rates. But when it comes to actual application of paint on the boat hull, compliance with product instructions/limitations is generally not supervised – presumably due to a lack of resources. Furthermore, environmental requirements for the maintenance of boats are often based on local regulations. From a perspective of compliance and enforcement, further direct regulation of marinas and boat owners on the basis of general environmental protection law, may not constitute the ‘silver bullet’ to sufficient environmental protection. Another option could be to encourage private law arrangements and “self- enforcement” by e.g. the marinas or boat owner associations.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNordic Environmental Law Journal
Volume2017
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)7-31
Number of pages25
ISSN2000-4273
StatePublished - 2017

ID: 184545250