The HNS Finder allows you to search (in English only) the list of all HNS as defined by the 2010 HNS Protocol. It provides information on HNS classification criteria and verifies whether a substance qualifies as contributing cargo. Users can also get information on which accounts the contributing substances belong to.
Given the dynamic nature of the list of the hazardous and noxious substances as defined in the 2010 HNS Protocol, the HNS Finder is updated on a regular basis. Since it was made available to the public in 2011, it has been updated twice.
You can also download your search results in a CSV or Excel file from the results page. This function is made available to assist users to instantly cross-check multiple substances simultaneously.
UN/NA Number Search
UN numbers (United Nations numbers) are four-digit numbers that identify hazardous materials and articles (such as explosives, flammable liquids, oxidizers, toxic liquids, etc.) in the framework of international transport.
NA numbers (North American numbers) are issued by the United States Department of Transportation and are identical to UN numbers (except that, in some cases, substances without a UN number may have been assigned an NA number).
Enter the four-digit UN/NA number without the UN or NA prefix (e.g., ‘1017’ for chlorine). This is the easiest way of searching a substance if you have the UN/NA number.
With the ‘contains’ search option, the system searches for substances containing the typed word(s). This allows for a wide range of results (e.g., searching for ‘methan’ returns results, including ‘Chloromethane’ and ‘methane’; searching for ‘methanol’ yields results, including ‘Phenylmethanol’ and ‘methanol’).
With the ‘begins with’ search option, the system searches for substances beginning with the typed word(s) in sequence, including space. This gives fewer results and requires a better knowledge of how the substances are spelled (e.g., typing in ‘fluor’ will return many more results than if using ‘fluorine’ which would return more specific entries).
Pay attention to space, punctuation and word order, as the system searches for a substance exactly as you type it in (e.g., typing ‘dimethyl chlorine’ will NOT find ‘chlorine, dimethyl’ because the punctuation and word order are different). The system ignores prefixes with numbers and returns results only with the name (e.g., searching for contains ‘diaminohexane’ will return ‘1,6-Diaminohexane’).
Search results are displayed in upper- and lower-case letters: the former indicates the formal names of substances (as used in the various IMO Codes); the latter, synonyms. Clicking on a substance will show both the formal name and any existing synonyms as recognised in the various codes. For substances that can be transported both in bulk and in packaged form, the search results will differentiate between the two modes of transport and show their respective HNS classification and contribution account as appropriate.
Various filters are available to facilitate specific search results. These include the following options:
- account categories with specific sectors in accordance with the Cargo Accounts table (see the ‘REPORTING’ section);
- searching by HNS Classification group or for Bulk Cargoes only.
HNS entries identified by the various search options are displayed alphabetically.
What are HNS?
A substance is classed as HNS in the 2010 HNS Convention if it is included in one or more lists from the relevant IMO instruments designed to ensure maritime safety and prevention of pollution. These substances are:
- oils, carried in bulk, as defined in regulation 1 of MARPOL Annex I including energy-rich fuels (as defined in Annex 12 of the annual MEPC.2/Circular) and blends of petroleum oil or energy-rich fuels with recognised bio-fuels (as identified in Annex 11 of the same annual circular) together with contributing oils as recognised by the IOPC Funds;
- noxious liquid substances, carried in bulk, as defined in regulation 1.10 of MARPOL Annex II, and those substances provisionally categorized as pollution category X, Y or Z and listed in the annual MEPC.2 Circular for substances subject to tripartite agreements or listed on the IMO website record for new tripartite agreements not yet incorporated into the annual MEPC.2/Circular. Also covered in this context are ‘pollutant only mixtures’ as noted in (or pending addition to) to List 2 products as contained in Annex 2 of the MEPC.2/Circular;
- dangerous liquid substances carried in bulk listed in chapter 17 of the IBC Code as amended;
- dangerous, hazardous and harmful substances, materials and articles in packaged form covered by the IMDG Code, as amended;
- liquefied gases as listed in chapter 19 of the IGC Code, as amended, together with any tripartite agreements in force;
- liquid substances carried in bulk with a flash point not exceeding 60°C;
- solid bulk materials possessing chemical hazards covered by the IMSBC Code, as amended to the extent that these substances are also subject to the provisions of the IMDG Code in effect in 1996, when carried in packaged form.
Several thousand substances are included on these lists and many are covered under more than one category of the Convention definitions of HNS.
Many chemicals and substances have several names or synonyms that can be used to describe them. The primary name used to describe a substance or chemical in the IMO Codes is the Proper Shipping Name (PSN) for those listed in the IMDG Code, the Product Name (PN) for those substances listed in the IBC Code or the IGC Code, and the Bulk Cargo Shipping Name (BCSN) for those listed in the IMSBC Code. In many cases these are identical for the same substance but in some cases, they are not and a primary name used in one code may be a synonym used in another code. The HNS Finder uses the appropriate primary name for substances as reflected in the relevant code.
HNS can be subdivided into different categories. For instance, they may be categorised by their physical state (gases, liquids and solids) or by the potential hazards that they present (flammable, explosive, toxic, corrosive or reactive). The 2010 HNS Convention distinguishes substances based on whether they are transported in bulk or in packaged form.
‘Bulk HNS’ include solids and liquids (including oils) and liquefied gases transported in bulk.
- Bulk gases: all liquefied gases which are transported in bulk are included, such as Liquefied Natural Gas, Liquefied Petroleum Gas, ammonia, ethylene, butadiene, ethane, propylene and others.
- Bulk solids: many of the major bulk solids are excluded since they do not possess chemical hazards (e.g., iron ore, grain, bauxite and alumina, phosphate rock, cement and some fertilizers). Others are classified as hazardous material only in bulk but are not considered as HNS (e.g., coal, reduced iron and woodchip). Bulk solids that are covered under the Convention include some fertilizers, sodium and potassium nitrates, sulphur and some types of fishmeal.
- Bulk liquids: these are included if they present safety, pollution or explosion hazards and include organic chemicals (e.g., methanol, xylenes and styrene), inorganic chemicals (e.g., sulphuric acid, phosphoric acid and caustic soda) and vegetable and animal oils and fats (e.g., palm oil, soybean oil and tallow). Both persistent and non-persistent oils of petroleum origin are also included.*
‘Packaged HNS’ include dangerous, hazardous and harmful substances, materials and articles in packaged form covered by the IMDG Code. The number of substances included is very large and include hundreds of materials that can be dangerous when shipped in packaged form.
*Compensation for oil pollution from tanker spills are covered by the international oil pollution compensation regime.