New rules make some boat paint illegal to import

New Zealand’s Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) have banned some anti-fouling paints which can no longer be imported or manufactured in New Zealand after they were determined to be too toxic to marine life. Dr Stephen Cobb from our Hazardous Substances Group said 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,” said 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 added. From June 2023, anti-fouling paints that contain thiram will also be banned. Further information is available at:

NZ EPA, 14 June 2018 ;

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