Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland
If you want to transport controlled waste, you must register as a waste carrier with the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) and comply with your duty of care. In Northern Ireland there is a two-tier registration system for waste carriers.
Upper tier registrations are valid for three years, unless your registration is revoked or withdrawn. Lower tier registration is currently free and lasts indefinitely, unless your registration is revoked or withdrawn. You can apply for registration as a:
You can get application forms to register from the NIEA.
If you are not sure whether you need to register, you should check with the NIEA.
If you want to transport controlled waste, you must register as a waste carrier with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and comply with your duty of care. If you normally and regularly transport waste produced by your own business, you must register with SEPA as a professional collector or transporter of waste.
You only need a single registration to cover you to carry waste throughout England, Scotland and Wales. To work out if you need to register see the page in this guideline: Waste carriers - Who needs to register?
Waste carrier registrations are valid for three years. It is free to register as a professional collector and transporter of waste, and your registration lasts indefinitely unless it is revoked or withdrawn.
You can get application forms to register from the SEPA.
If you are not sure whether you need to register, you should check with SEPA.
Comply with your duty of care
You are responsible for making sure that the waste you carry is handled safely and legally. You must make sure that you only pass waste to someone who is authorised to take it. If you do not check and keep proof of this you could be held responsible if your waste is disposed of illegally - for example, by fly-tipping. See the page on checking your waste is dealt with correctly in our guideline: Duty of care - your waste responsibilities.
In Scotland from 01 January 2014, and in Northern Ireland from 1 January 2015, there are additional new requirements that waste carriers must comply with. If you are a business that provides a waste collection service you must:
Further information can be found on the Scottish Government website:
Make sure all waste carriers, brokers and dealers you pass waste on to are registered or exempt.
Use waste transfer or consignment notes
Whenever you accept waste from someone, or pass waste to someone, you must ensure that the transfer is covered by a waste transfer note (WTN). If the waste is classified as hazardous waste, you must complete a consignment note. You must keep copies of waste transfer notes for two years and consignment notes for three years.
See the page on completing waste transfer notes in our guideline: Duty of care - your waste responsibilities.
See the page on moving and transferring hazardous waste in our guideline: Hazardous/special waste
When you accept waste, ensure it is packaged correctly. If it isn't, ask the producer to repack it. Do not accept waste in leaking containers. Inspect waste when you accept it to check that the waste description on the waste transfer note is accurate.
Take your waste to a site with a suitable and valid pollution prevention and control permit, waste management licence or appropriate exemption. Make sure the site is authorised to receive your particular waste types. You should always ask the site manager to show you the original documents. Ask for a photocopy for your records.
If you suspect that the waste you are carrying has been handled illegally at any stage, report the possible offence to the NIEA or SEPA.
Waste carriers' responsibilities
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