- A Hazardous and Noxious Substance (HNS) is defined as any substance other than oil which, if introduced into the marine environment, is likely to create hazards to human health, to harm living resources and marine life, to damage amenities or to interfere with other legitimate uses of the sea.
Recently, HNS spill incidents are getting increase due to high maritime transportation of HNS resulting from high portion of petrochemical and/or chemical industries. If HNS spill incidents occurred, it could result in fire, explosion, suffocation, toxic ingredient, corrosion and etc. Unlike oil or oily mixture, various types and amounts of HNS demand special prevention method depending on the physical and chemical characteristics. Therefore governments, local and international organizations are trying to build an efficient control system for prevention, preparedness and response of HNS relating incidents. Internationally, OPRC-HNS Protocol was adopted by IMO in 2000, and entered into force in June 2007.
As the risk of the HNS accident increases in the NOWPAP region, the NOWPAP member states are now trying to increase their respective national/regional capabilities on HNS spill preparedness and response, and proposing necessary measures for ratification of the OPRC-HNS Protocol in the near future. Based upon the recognition of the need that the NOWPAP member states have to respond jointly to HNS issues at the regional level, each country recently started to develop regional co-operation system on HNS spill prevention and response, especially, within the framework of NOWPAP and MERRAC, with support from IMO and UNEP. In this regard, at the 10th NOWPAP Intergovernmental Meeting (December 2005), the NOWPAP member states agreed to expand scope of the MERRAC activity including the HNS issue.
Based upon the decision of the 10th NOWPAP IGM, it was discussed MERRAC activities related to the HNS spill preparedness and response, and recommended to set up a regional action plan on regional co-operative activities on HNS preparedness and response, and strategies, scope, detailed items of regional activities, its priorities and timetable. MERRAC developed the draft texts of HNS regional contingency plan, through the 2006 Expert Meeting (November 2006), by adding HNS specific issues to the existing NOWPAP Regional Oil Spill Contingency Plan, rather than developing an independent regional HNS spill contingency plan. The 13th NOWPAP IGM (October 2008) finally adopted the NOWPAP Regional Oil and HNS Spill Contingency Plan and formally come into effect.
- Information System
- As well as information system relevant to oil spill response, MERRAC maintains and updates regularly HNS related information.
- HNS Spill Accidents
- Specific Projects
- MERRAC Specific Projects have covered relevant regional cooperation in marine pollution including oil, HNS, and sea-based marine litter. Expert Groups have been organized to implement MERRAC Specific Projects, and NOWPAP member states officially nominate national experts having profound background for relevant activities to support MERRAC Specific Projects. Expert Groups are composed of four experts, respectively, and the expert of leading country generally manage the MERRAC Specific Projects in cooperation with other experts.
- On-going projects
- - HNS response operation guidelines
- HNS database
- HNS training manual
- Concluded projects
- You can download the publications, please click here.
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