Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland
If you want to import waste into the UK for disposal or recovery you must check first that you are allowed by contacting the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) or the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA).
Waste considered low risk to the environment under the Shipments of Waste Regulations is called green list waste. You can usually import and export these wastes for recovery without the need for prior authorisation. For example, you do not have to notify anyone before you import or export uncontaminated waste paper for recycling. However, you should check first with the NIEA or SEPA.
Waste disposal includes:
Most imports and exports of waste for disposal are banned. Any that are allowed, including imports from UK overseas territories, are covered by notification controls. See the page in this guideline: Importing or exporting waste under notification controls.
If you wish to import waste for disposal you should get advice:
Waste recovery is recycling, reclaiming and regenerating substances from all or part of waste, eg:
You are usually allowed to import green list waste for recovery.
The export of green list waste is subject to further controls depending on the destination country. You should always contact the NIEA or SEPA before exporting green list waste for recovery in another country.
If you import or export green list waste for recovery, you must:
You must also:
If you are unsure if you are allowed to import any type of waste, or if you need permission,
Importing or exporting green list waste
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