Very short-lived halocarbons are significant sources of reactive halogen in the marine boundary layer, and likely in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere. Quantifying ambient concentrations in the surface ocean and atmosphere is essential for understanding the atmospheric impact of these trace gas fluxes. Despite the body of literature increasing substantially over recent years, calibration issues complicate the comparison of results and limit the utility of building larger-scale databases that would enable further development of the science (e.g. sea-air flux quantification, model validation, etc.). With this in mind, thirty-one scientists from both atmospheric and oceanic halocarbon communities in eight nations gathered in London in February 2008 to discuss the scientific issues and plan an international effort toward developing common calibration scales (http://tinyurl.com/c9cg58). Here, we discuss the outputs from this meeting, suggest the compounds that should be targeted initially, identify opportunities for beginning calibration and comparison efforts, and make recommendations for ways to improve the comparability of previous and future measurements.