CHI: Experts gather to finalize ISO standard proposal

Experts gather to finalize the proposal for the new ISO-standard for proactive hull cleaning.

Publish date: October 6, 2022

The development and implementation of a global industry standard on proactive hull cleaning is key for greener shipping.

A new industry standard for proactive hull cleaning is a step closer, following a recent round table with maritime industry leaders in Hamburg, Germany.

The workshop, which was organized by the Clean Hull Initiative (CHI) and hosted by shipping and container major Hapag-Lloyd, gathered around 50 experts from the shipping industry, public sector, and civil society. Professionals with knowledge in all fields of international shipping, port sector, biology, chemistry, regulatory and sustainability shared their knowledge and discussed the key requirements the standard should address. The proposal for the standard will be submitted to ISO late October this year, and the standard development work will be performed undertaken from 2023-2026.

Biofouling, the build-up of marine growth on ship hulls, causes major environmental impacts and constitutes billions of dollars in excess costs to society and industry yearly. It slows the affected ship and can increase its fuel consumption by as much as 40 %, boosting already high CO₂ emissions. The added fuel costs alone amount to over 33 billion USD yearly at today’s high fuel prices. The accumulation of marine life on hulls may also spread invasive aquatic species into foreign environments, affecting delicate biodiversity, ecosystem health and the livelihoods of coastal communities across the globe.

Martin Köpke, Sustainability Manager & Energy Efficiency Expert at Hapag-Lloyd, said: “At Hapag-Lloyd AG we see a lot of potential in the CHI to foster our ambitions to avoid the spread of invasive species. We also know from our performance data that keeping underwater hulls clean is one of the most effective levers for energy efficiency.”

The Clean Hull Initiative was developed by climate non-profit Bellona Foundation together with partner and major industrial coatings manufacturer Jotun to increase the uptake of emerging proactive hull cleaning technology and to reduce the regulatory barriers for its adoption. The initiative aims to work towards development and implementation of an industry-wide recognized and accepted standard for proactive hull cleaning. The CHI aims to bring together key stakeholders from the industry, public sector and civil society, on a multi-stakeholder platform. The platform acts as a forum where stakeholders can come together and discuss, with a goal to reach consensus on a standard for proactive hull cleaning.

Hallstein Havåg, CEO of the Bellona Foundation, said: “With increasing focus on bio-security in shipping worldwide, such as i.e. the revision of the IMO Biofouling Guidelines, it is important to ensure increased uptake of biofouling management solutions. Proactive hull cleaning is an emerging technology, and it is therefore crucial to establish best practices, so these operations are performed in an environmentally safe manner.”


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