Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Selling goods containing radioactive isotopes

Selling goods containing radioactive isotopes

This guidance is relevant if you sell or distribute any products that contain radioactive sources such as:

  • combine harvesters
  • smoke detectors
  • some medical equipment
  • luminous signs and instruments.

What you must do

Check if you need a certificate of registration (Northern Ireland) or an authorisation (Scotland) for radioactive materials

You may need a certificate of registration or an authorisation from your environmental regulator to store, sell or distribute radioactive sources.

If you store, sell or distribute any products that contain radioactive sources, you should contact your environmental regulator to check if you need to register or get a permit.

If you operate in Northern Ireland there are some exemptions that may apply to you, In Scotland you may be covered by GBRs, particularly if you are a smaller business. For example, if you store fewer than 500 smoke detectors at any one time, then you will be exempt from having to register (Northern Ireland) or will have to comply with General Binding Rules (Scotland).

Contact your environmental regulator

Dispose of any radioactive waste appropriately

If you have waste products that contain radioactive substances, you must dispose of them as radioactive waste. If you accumulate large amounts of radioactive waste or produce radioactive waste on a regular basis, you will need to have a certificate of authorisation (Northern Ireland) or an authorisation (Scotland) from your environmental regulator.

Use the NetRegs waste directory to find your nearest waste site to dispose of radioactive waste.

If you are unsure about how you should dispose of radioactive waste, contact your environmental regulator or your local council to find out.

Contact your environmental regulator

Contact your local council

Further information on radioactive materials

Radioactive substances and wastes

Health and Safety Executive (HSE): Ionising radiation - radiation protection

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