Using the Online Halon Trader
What is the Online Halon Trader (OHT)?
The On-line Halon Trader is a "business to business"
web portal developed by the UNEP
DTIE OzonAction Programme under the Multilateral
Fund, whose ultimate purpose to is contribute to the protection
of the stratospheric ozone layer by promoting halon banking
and responsible halon management.
This web site site is designed for companies/organisations
that use halons in "critical" applications, including
owners, managers and/or operators of fire protection systems,
fire control services and other organizations related to fire
The OHT provides a virtual marketplace where persons can
match demand with supply. Through this free service, companies
that need halon for critical applications ("halon seekers")
are able to post listings of specific demand in a virtual
"marketplace". Companies or halon banks that can
meet this demand with recovered, reclaimed or recycled halon
("halon providers") can respond or post their own
listings about halons available for exchange.
UNEP provides the platform for this exchange and does not
in any manner become party to the transaction between those
who seek halons and those who provide halons.
Why is UNEP involved?
At their 4th meeting in Copenhagen
from 23-25 November 1992, the Parties to the Montreal Protocol
urged all countries to encourage recovery, recycling and reclamation
of halons in order to meet the needs of all Parties, particularly
developing countries. They also called upon Parties importing
recovered or recycled halons to apply, when deciding on the
use of those substances, the essential-use criteria set out
in the 1991 report of the UNEP Halon Technical Options Committee.
The purpose of these criteria is to minimise the use of halons
in non-essential applications.
At the same meeting, the Parties requested
the UNEP's Industry and Environment Programme Activity Centre
(now the Division
of Technology, Industry and Economics) to function as
a clearinghouse for information relevant to international
halon bank management. UNEP was requested to liaise with and
coordinate its activities with the Implementing Agencies to
encourage Parties to provide pertinent information to the
The Online Halon Trader is a service
provided by UNEP's information clearinghouse. It is designed
to support national halon banking by facilitating the exchange
of halons for critical uses.
What are halons?
Halons are man-made chemicals - halogenated hydrocarbons
- that are used worldwide to extinguish fires and supress
explosions. Halons are extremely effective fire fighting agents
that are colorless, odorless gases that are electrically nonconductive,
leave no residue and are low in toxicity. Unfortunately, they
also have high ozone depletion potential (ODP) which makes
them very effective at depleting stratospheric ozone. Historically,
halons may be responsible for as much as 25% of the depletion
of the ozone layer.
The stratospheric ozone layer protects the earth from harmful
ultraviolet radiation from the sun. A loss of stratospheric
ozone results in an increased amount of UV reaching the surface
of the earth. Increased UV causes an increase in skin cancers
to humans and causes harm to animals and plants on land and
in the oceans.
Production and consumption of halons are controlled globally
under the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the
Ozone Layer. Countries and companies are taking the necessary
steps to reduce and eliminate halon use to reduce dependency
on these controlled chemicals.
What are the steps to eliminate dependency
The elimination of halon dependency is a logical, step by
step procedure. A program developed jointly with the fire
protection community should include the following elements
and be implemented in the following order:
- Meet with members of the fire protection community and
assess the uses of halons in your country and estimate the
level of installed capacity
- Build awareness of the problem of ozone depletion and
the need to eliminate imports of newly produced halons
- Commit to phase out use of halons for all but essential
- Reduce unnecessary emissions and uses of halons
- Educate users and fire equipment companies to allow for
a safe transition to alternative fire protection methods
- Develop a halon bank management programme - eliminate
the need for newly manufactured halons
- End imports of newly manufactured halons
Why is a halon management plan important?
In the near future, non-availability of halons could make
it difficult to recharge currently installed fire protection
systems. The lack of availability could leave important facilities
unprotected from the threat of fire until a new fire protection
system of another type can be installed. As recycled halons
are now becoming the only source of supply the cost of halons
Halons are the most potent of all of the ozone depleting
substances (ODS). A halon management plan is a responsible
way to help avoid unnecessary venting of halons to the atmosphere
and minimize halon uses to critical applications.
What is a halon bank?
Halon banking is an important element
in most national halon management strategies. Many companies
and organisations also employ some form of halon bankingl.
A halon bank is the total quantity
of halon existing at a given moment in a facility, organization,
country, or region. It includes halon contained in fixed fire
protection systems, portable fire extinguishers, mobile fire
extinguishers and that kept in storage (i.e. containers).
Halon bank management is a method
of managing a supply of banked halon. Bank management consists
of keeping track of halon quantities at each stage: initial
filling, installation, "recycling", and storage. A major goal
of a halon bank is to avoid demand for new (virgin) halons
by re-deploying halons from decommissioned systems or non-essential
applications to essential uses. Halon banks are usually managed
by a clearinghouse, i.e. an office that facilitates contact
between halon owners and halon buyers.
How can I find
banked, recycled or decommissioned halons if I need them?
If you need to obtain banked halon,
you should use the Online Halon Trader as follows:
- View the listings already posted to see if anyone has
halons which match your needs. If there is an interesting
offer, then follow the instructions to contact the person
making the offer to see if it matches your requirements.
- Post your request in the virtual marketplace for others
You should also contact one or more
of the National Halon Banks in or near your region. UNEP maintains
a list of these public
and private-sector organisations whose business is to match
supply and demand.
How can I offer
banked, recycled or decommissioned halons if I have them?
If you wish to trade, sell, or exchange
your banked halons, you should use the Online Halon Trader
We recommend that you post your offer
on the Online Halon Trader to get maximum visibility as it
is free and simple.
- View the listings already posted to see if anyone needs
halons which match your supply. If there is an interesting
offer, then follow the instructions to contact the person
and make them an offer.
- Post your supply in the virtual marketplace for others
You should also contact some or all
of the National Halon Banks, whose business is to match supply
and demand. It may be worth trying to contact all national
halon banks, not just those in your immediate region: UNEP
is aware of purchases between buyers and sellers that are
on opposites side of the globe. UNEP maintains a list
of these public and private-sector organisations.
Inform them that your company has surplus/banked/recycled
halons that it is willing to sell/trade/exchange. You can
send the halon bank mangers a short email or fax stating at
a minimum the following details:
- [Company name] has the following halons available for
- [XXX] MT halon-1301 and [XXX] MT halon-1211(be sure to
specify MT or otherwise)
- As much description of the substances as possible (e.g.
purity/specification of the halons, type of containers)
- Location of the halons
- Terms or conditions of trade, sale or exchange.
The more specifics provided to the halon bank managers, the
better. The halon banks will determine whether any of their
member companies/organizations need the halons, and inform
Using the Online Halon Trader
What is a halon seeker?
For the purpose of this web site, a seeker is someone who
wants to obtain or acquire recycled or reclaimed halons through
purchases, trade or exchange.
What is a halon
For the purpose of this web site, a provider is someone who
wants to provide or offer recycled or reclaimed Halons through
sales, trade or exchange.
What types of halons
are listed on this site?
As per the Terms of Service that each person agrees before
becoming a member of the Online Halon Trader, the halons listed
through this web module are supposed to be recovered, recycled,
reclaimed or banked, and not newly-produced ("virgin")
halons being sold for the first time. UNEP cannot idenpendently
verify this therefore halon seekers should verify with the
halon provider that the halons are indeed what they claim
How do I view the listings?
From the Home Page, click View Listings
There are two ways: as a regular user and as a registered
user (for an explanation of the
differences, see below). It is not required to open an account
with OHT to view any listing, but it is if you wish to make
contact with them.
What are the differences between
a regular user and a registered user?
Type of user
- View basic information of any listing (halon type,
quantity, country, etc) but not see the contact details
of the person.
- View the full details of other OHT members enabling
you to contact them
- Update your own contact information
- Update your own listings
- Report a halon transaction
- Receive an email notification when new members are
What if I forget my password?
If member password is forgotten or misplaced, members can
send their email id to the webmaster through the 'Forgot Password'
link. A new password will be sent to the member provided the
email id posted matches with the one entered in the registration
Halon seeker members are not allowed to report a purchase
for a halon type for more than the quantity reported in their
initial posting for that halon type. Similarly, quantities
of halons in sale transactions shall not exceed the quantity
held (offered) by the member for that halon type. Members
can modify / update the quantity offered or required by them
by clicking on 'Update Account Information'.
While reporting a purchase or sale transaction, please indicate
whether the second transacting party is also an OHT member
and provide the organization's email and name in the text
boxes provided on the transaction reporting form.
On the other hand, if users wish to post an offer or requirement
for halons or post transactions, it is necessary to first
open an account with OHT and become a registered Member of
the OHT database.
Before opening an account with OHT, users should read the
terms of Services and click 'Accept' to proceed.
How can I open an account?
Opening an account with OHT is simple and free. Users can
open an account with the OHT after accepting the Terms of
Service. While opening a new account (registering), users
have to fill in their contact information and organizational
details as listed in the registration form.
Except telephone, fax, web address and shipment details,
ALL other fields are required and cannot be omitted. In particular,
your email address is extremely crucial and cannot be kept
How does the OHT manage member
accounts and compute halon status on searching?
The OHT holds the member information in two databases. The
first database captures the organizational details of the
members. Members are allowed to update or modify information
in this database through the 'Update Account Information'
in the Member Access. Please note that while updating initial
halon offer or requirement through Update Account Information,
do not post the incremental amounts. Please post absolute
quantities that you wish to offer for sale or require to purchase
for a particular halon type.
The second database stores the initial requirement or offer
of halons as posted by the members while opening their account,
subsequent updates in this initial offer and any reports of
purchase and sale of halons.
How to Search the OHT Database?
Guests and members are allowed to search these databases
based on four criteria, viz. halon seekers or providers, member
country, halon type and quantity (in metric tons) of halons.
The search function then, selects and displays member account
details that satisfy the search criteria and computes the
latest offer or requirement of halons for the desired criteria.
Please note here, that guests are not allowed to view the
contact details of OHT members. It is necessary to open an
account with OHT to avail of the full features of the OHT.