Cleaning agents and cleaning additives

Cleaning agents and cleaning additives are used for washing tanks and piping on seagoing vessels. The Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate (ILT) assesses cleaning additives manufactured in the Netherlands.

Cleaning agents

Cleaning agents are cleaning products used undiluted. The discharge of cleaning agents must comply with the MARPOL Annex I or Annex II requirements.

Cleaning additives

A small amount of cleaning additive is added to the washing water. This may only be used if it is approved by the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

Assessment of cleaning additives

The manufacturer of a cleaning additive has it assessed by the IMO Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR). In the Netherlands, the ILT acts as the executive agency. The procedure and requirements for the assessment can be found in the MEPC.1/Circ.590 (Revised Tank Cleaning Additives Guidance Note And Reporting Form). The examination assesses the effect of the substance on the aquatic environment. Danger to users and how the product works is not assessed. 

Only representatives of national authorities are present during the assessment. Information on the composition of cleaning additives is kept confidential and not shared with others.

Assessed cleaning additives are listed in Annex 10 of the latest version of the MEPC.2/Circ.28 (Provisional Categorization Of Liquid Substances). 

Requesting an assessment

Do you want an assessment for your cleaning additive that has been manufactured in the Netherlands? Please send an email to Add the following information: 

The application form must include all GESAMP Hazard Profiles (GHP) of the components. You can find the list of GHPs (also called GESAMP/EHS Composite List) on IMO's website. This list is renewed every year. If there is no GHP available for 1 or more components, you must create a profile. You must use this in your application.

The ILT checks whether the product meets the requirements in MEPC.1/Circ.590 (Revised Tank Cleaning Additives Guidance Note And Reporting Form). 

You can submit a product for review 2 times a year. This is at the beginning of the year and just after the summer. You can request the exact dates by sending an email to