Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Aggregates levy

Aggregates levy

The aggregates levy is a tax on sand, gravel and rock that is dug from the ground or dredged from the sea in UK waters. The tax addresses the environmental damage caused by these business activities in the form of noise, dust and loss of biodiversity.

The tax is designed to:

  • recognise the significant environmental impact of extracting aggregates
  • encourage the use of alternative materials.

Quarry operators must pay a tax of £2.00 per tonne of sand, gravel or rock. If you import these materials, you must also pay the tax once they are used commercially. In both cases, you need to register with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

HMRC: Aggregates levy registration form

There are penalties for not registering or paying the tax.

Exemptions and relief

You will qualify for relief if you export aggregates. You may also qualify for relief if you use one of these materials in a specified industrial or agricultural process. The 80 per cent relief for aggregate extracted and used in Northern Ireland for businesses that sign up to agreements to make environmental improvements to their operations was suspended on 1 December 2010 as a result of a European Court judgment.

Certain materials are excluded from this tax. These include coal, lignite, shale, slate, clay, industrial minerals, soil, vegetable - or other organic - material, cut building stone, lime and cement.

HMRC: Aggregates levy

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NIEA - Apply online

SEPA - Application forms