The HNS Finder allows you to search (in English only) the list of all HNS as defined by the 2010 HNS Convention. 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 Convention, the HNS Finder is updated on a regular basis. The current version (version 12) was updated on 31 May 2022.
You can download search results or the entire database in a CSV (comma-separated values) 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 America), 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).
If you have the UN/NA number, this is the easiest way of searching a substance. Simply enter the four-digit UN/NA number without any UN or NA prefix (e.g., “1017” for chlorine).
Note that UN numbers are only utilised within the HNS Finder in line with their adoption in product lists as found in the various Codes/listings concerned. They consequently only appear for entries relating to packaged goods or bulk solids (both of which reference UN numbers in their respective codes).
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 fewer 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 indicates 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:
- Transport mode (bulk or packaged);
- Contribution status (Contributing or Non-contributing);
- Reporting account (General, Oil, LNG or LPG); and
- HNS Classification Group (seven categories reflecting the origin of an entry or product flashpoint properties – see below).
HNS entries identified as a result of carrying out a search using any of the options described above, will be listed alphabetically.
Access Archived data
By default, the HNS Finder presents a searchable list of HNS that are identified in all the codes and listings in force during the current calendar year. To facilitate the reporting of contributing cargo, that list is updated at the end of May every year, which corresponds to the submission deadline under the 2010 HNS Protocol.
However, should a receiver or a government authority need to access previous years’ data for verification or reporting purposes, it is possible to access such data using the Access Archived Data function. This function provides access to the lists from previous years. Selecting a specific year will open the list which was valid during that year.
This archive function provides access to the lists starting from 2020 onwards.
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 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 categorised as pollution category X, Y or Z and listed in the current 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) 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.
- Dangerous, hazardous and harmful substances, materials and articles in packaged form covered by the current International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code as amended.
- Liquefied gases, as listed in chapter 19 of the current IGC Code, 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 current 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 generally uses the appropriate primary name for substances as reflected in the relevant code, although, in certain cases, this may sometimes default to a broader form of the name to assist with identification.
For Oil Products, it can be important to check that any search term used is correctly identified to be in line with that specified in the appropriate source code or document, as mentioned above. Otherwise, in some cases a search might generate results which could initially appear misleading. For example, a search for gasoline will generate several products containing the term gasoline but only one entry for gasoline alone. This will appear as GASOLINE reflecting that this relates to the Proper Shipping Name of a packaged product listed in the IMDG Code. As such, it is noted to be a non-contributing product in the General account/Other HNS sector. Whilst there might be an expectation to see a reference to the Oil account appear, this would only be activated by using a specific term as found in one of the core documents such as Automotive Gasoline from MARPOL Annex I. This would reveal a contributing product within the Oil account/Non-persistent oil sector which is transported in Bulk.
HNS can be sub-divided 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 under this category is very large.
*Compensation for oil pollution from tanker spills are covered by the international oil pollution compensation regime.