Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland
International waste shipment (IWS) controls cover the movement of all waste between countries. This includes movements of waste between the UK and:
Waste shipment controls cover the movement of waste from where it is produced to where it is recovered or disposed of.
The export of waste from the UK for disposal overseas is banned except in a few limited circumstances.
What you must do to comply with waste shipment controls depends on:
Waste shipment controls depend on the classification of the waste you are importing or exporting.
The two main classes of waste under waste shipment controls are:
Green list waste is usually considered a low risk to the environment. Green list waste types are listed in annexes to the Waste Shipment Regulation. For details of green listed waste, you should:
Notifiable waste is considered hazardous or harmful to the environment. Notifiable waste types are listed in annexes to the European Shipments of Waste Regulation. How hazardous waste is defined for waste shipment controls may be different from the definition in the Hazardous or Special Waste Regulations.
Waste considered hazardous is strictly controlled. To export or import this waste, you need the consent of the competent authorities of the countries involved. This consent is called a notification control.
If you are considering importing or exporting notifiable waste, you must contact the NIEA or SEPA before moving it internationally. If you ship waste without the correct permissions, you are committing a criminal offence.
The Environment Agency has developed a tool to help you identify the appropriate classification and controls on waste types intended for export.
International waste shipment controls
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