Cefas is unique in providing registration of offshore chemicals in UK and Dutch waters. The Offshore Chemical Notification Scheme (OCNS) applies to all chemicals used in the exploration, exploitation and associated offshore processing by the offshore oil & gas industry on the UK Continental Shelf and the Netherlands Continental Shelf.
OCNS is regulated in the UK by the Department of Energy and Climate Change using scientific and environmental advice from Cefas and Marine Scotland. In the Netherlands the scheme is regulated by the State Supervision of Mines, with scientific and environmental advice from Cefas and Netherlands government agencies.
To register a chemical for use in UK and/or Dutch waters, a Chemical Supplier must complete a blank HOCNF form and return it to Cefas at the contact address.
Chemicals are handled in accordance with the OSPAR Harmonised Mandatory Control Scheme (HMCS). Chemical products are ranked according to Hazard Quotient (HQ), calculated using the information supplied on the completed HOCNF, and assessed using the Chemical Hazard and Risk Assessment Model (CHARM). At the end of the registration process, the Chemical Supplier is issued with a Cefas Template, and the chemical will appear on the Definitive Ranked Lists of Registered Products.
Chemicals are assigned colour bands according to their HQ, with Gold banding applied to products with the lowest HQs. However, even Gold-banded chemicals may contain substances whose ecotoxicological properties earn the chemical a substitution warning, and this will also be shown on the Ranked List and Template, if applicable.