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What is ISO 18894-2:2016?

ISO 18894-2:2016 is an internationally recognized standard for the classification and labeling of chemicals used in maritime transportation. It provides a systematic approach to identify and communicate potential hazards associated with chemical substances carried by ships.

The Purpose of ISO 18894-2:2016

The primary purpose of ISO 18894-2:2016 is to ensure the safety of personnel, vessels, and the environment during the storage, handling, and transportation of hazardous chemicals at sea. This standard aims to harmonize the classification criteria and labeling requirements across different jurisdictions, facilitating the global trade of chemical substances by establishing a universal language for hazard communication.

Key Elements of ISO 18894-2:2016

ISO 18894-2:2016 outlines a comprehensive system for classifying chemicals based on their acute toxicity, physical hazards, and environmental properties. The main elements of this classification system include:

Hazard Categories: Chemicals are classified into various hazard categories, such as flammable liquids, toxic gases, corrosive substances, etc. These categories help to identify the nature of the hazards posed by the chemicals.

Criteria for Classification: Detailed criteria are provided to determine the appropriate hazard category for each chemical. These criteria consider factors like flashpoint, boiling point, toxicity levels, and environmental impact.

Labeling Requirements: ISO 18894-2:2016 prescribes standardized labels that must be displayed on all packages containing hazardous chemicals. These labels are designed to provide clear and concise information about the hazards posed by the chemical substances.

Safety Data Sheets (SDS): The standard also specifies the format and content of Safety Data Sheets, which accompany hazardous chemicals during transportation. SDS contain vital information relating to the hazards, handling, storage, and emergency response procedures for each chemical.

The Benefits of ISO 18894-2:2016

ISO 18894-2:2016 brings numerous benefits to the maritime industry, chemical manufacturers, and regulatory bodies:

Enhanced Safety: By providing clear and consistent communication of chemical hazards, this standard helps minimize the risks associated with improper handling, storage, and transportation of hazardous substances.

Global Harmonization: ISO 18894-2:2016 promotes international consistency in the classification and labeling of chemicals, streamlining trade processes and eliminating potential confusion caused by varying national standards.

Compliance with Regulations: Adhering to ISO 18894-2:2016 ensures compliance with international regulations governing the maritime transportation of chemicals, such as the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code.

Economic Benefits: A standardized approach to classifying and labeling chemicals simplifies the shipping process, enhancing efficiency and reducing costs for all stakeholders involved.


ISO 18894-2:2016 plays a critical role in ensuring the safe transportation of hazardous chemicals at sea. By implementing the provisions outlined in this internationally recognized standard, stakeholders can protect personnel, vessels, and the environment, while facilitating global trade through effective hazard communication.


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