The transfrontier shipment of waste

The below information sets out the processes for exporting and importing waste from Northern Ireland. It sets out the regulatory controls on shipments of waste and the notification controls that people and businesses need to adhere to.

Page last updated: 01/04/2021

Latest news:

EU Exit:

  • UK's departure from the EU ended at 23:00 on 31st December 2020. Under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, the Northern Ireland Protocol ("the Protocol") will enter into force. The Protocol provides a framework for the relationship between Great Britain (GB), Northern Ireland (NI) and the European Union (EU).
  • Under the terms of the Protocol, Northern Ireland will continue to apply (EC) Regulation 1013/2006 – Waste Shipments Regulation (WSR) on shipments of waste for the duration of the Protocol. This means that EU waste Shipment Controls will continue to apply to the shipments of waste between Northern Ireland and the EU.

Great Britain to Northern Ireland waste movements:

Update on the progress of legislation required to implement the Northern Ireland Protocol.

The draft regulations “The International Waste Shipments (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2021” were laid on 17th December and are available to view here: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukdsi/2021/9780348217650/contents.

This legislation will implement the Protocol by requiring that waste shipment controls apply to the transport of waste from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. More information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/moving-waste-between-great-britain-and-northern-ireland 

DEFRA colleagues have indicated that they now expect this legislation to be debated by the House of Commons and the House of Lords from the week commencing 26th April 2021. Depending on the final dates for debate, and subject to approval from each House, the legislation may then come into force in early May 2021.

If you wish to continue moving your waste from GB to NI when the above regulations come into force and need advice please contact us by e-mail: TFS@daera-ni.gov.uk

Further advice will follow, however for general information on the notification procedure and waste shipment controls please see below.

  • Until the new legislation comes in to force, waste can continue to be transported from Great Britain to Northern Ireland in line with existing regulatory requirements for hazardous and non-hazardous waste.

Do you transport waste into or out of Northern Ireland from or to countries outside the UK?

If so, you need to be aware that shipments of waste are subject to a range of regulatory controls. Our guide An introduction to moving waste between countries provides an overview of the different types of controls that can apply.

The controls you need to comply with will depend on:

  • whether the waste is being sent for recovery or disposal - most shipments for disposal are prohibited, and if they are allowed they are subject to notification controls
  • if being moved for recovery, the type of waste - European legislation contains several annexes specifying different types of hazardous and non-hazardous waste
  • the 'status' of the countries of dispatch and destination. If you are moving waste between NI and EU, the procedures are different from those that apply if you are moving waste between NI and OECD countries, Non-OECD countries and Basel countries

Transboundary waste shipments

Transboundary waste shipments from NI can be:

1. Prohibited

Movements are not allowed under any circumstances including almost all:

  • imports and exports for disposal
  • exports of hazardous waste to developing countries, even if moving for recovery

2. Notification controls

These apply to all permitted imports and exports of:

  • hazardous waste moving for recovery
  • any type of waste moving for disposal
  • and to some imports and exports of non-hazardous wastes for recovery

Where these controls apply you need our written permission before moving the waste. You must also comply with a range of other requirements.

3. Green list controls

These are the lowest level of control and only ever apply to some (but not all) imports or exports of non-hazardous waste for recovery. Where these controls apply you do not need our permission before moving the waste but you must comply with a range of other requirements (futher details can be found here).

If you are unsure of the type of controls that will apply to your waste please email the TFS team at TFS@daera-ni.gov.uk to discuss.

Notifiable Waste

Notification controls are a higher level of control than green list controls. They apply to all permitted imports and exports of:

  • Hazardous waste being moved for recovery;
  • Some imports and exports of non-hazardous wastes for recovery;
  • Any type of waste being moved for disposal (import/export for disposal is generally prohibited – See Draft UK Waste Shipment Plan 2021for exceptions)*

Overview of the Notification Documents

A notification is used to provide information about a proposed waste movement in a standard format.  This enables the Competent Authorities involved to conduct relevant checks on the movement arrangements.

You can complete a single notification document for several planned movements of waste scheduled to take place up to the period of one year (or in some limited cases up to three years) provided that:

  • The waste being moved each time has similar physical and chemical characteristics;
  • The waste is being shipped to the same consignee and facility;
  • Each separate waste movement will be sent via the same route.

Notification documents consist of a notification form, movement document and referenced annexes. Including;

  • A completed notification document (Annex IA).
  • A copy of the movement document (Annex IB).
  • A signed  Article 5 Waste Shipments Regulation contract between the companies involved.
  • A financial guarantee valid for three years.
  • Proof of liability and haulage insurance.
  • Notifier must have a valid Broker (ROC) licence with a registered address in the jurisdiction of dispatch. Apply here
  • Ensure you use a registered carrier for transporting waste in NI, details can be found here.
  • A route plan and map.
  • Proof of payment. NIEA’s Notification fees found here.

Setting up a new Export Notification

Information on import notifications can be found here.

You must use International Waste Shipment Online System (IWS)  to create your notification documents.  The system will assign a unique notification number to the document. To apply you must:                                       

  • Complete a notification application on IWS.
  • Submit the completed notification to the TFS team at TFS@daera-ni.gov.uk (email preferred but will also accept post applications)
  • The notifier and waste producer must sign and date the forms in block 17.
  • Scan and email the notification documents, annexes, authorisations, contract, financial guarantee, evidence of payment of fees and any additional supporting information to TFS team at TFS@daera-ni.gov.uk

Moving the Waste

  • The financial guarantee must be in place and approved by NIEA before shipments can commence.
  • Pre-notify the movement on IWS Online: The notifier must complete missing information on the movement document and send, at least 3 days but not more than 30 days before you intend to ship, to all concerned competent authorities and the consignee to make them aware of the intended movement.
  • Move the waste: The waste must be moved according to the information in the notification package.
  • The movement document (Annex IB) must travel with the waste.

Recovery of the Waste

  • The recovery facility must issue Certificate of Receipt: The facility that receives the waste must send copies of the movement document, completed in block 18, to the notifier and all competent authorities concerned within 3 working days of receiving the waste.
  • Processing the waste: The processing facility must recover the waste using the process described in the notification document. They must complete this within one year of receiving the waste.
  • Issue Certificate of Recovery: Once the waste has been recovered, the facility must issue a certificate of recovery within 30 days of the recovery of the waste by signing and dating block 19 of the movement document. They must then send copies of the movement document to the notifier and all competent authorities concerned.
  • Shipment data must be added to IWS upon receipt and then upon recovery or disposal of the waste.
  • Documents must be kept for 3 years.

Rejected Waste

If the waste is rejected by a competent authority at any point in its journey, it may need to be returned back to the country of origin or transported to a different site for recovery or disposal. You must comply with the requirements of the competent authority concerned. It may be necessary to use the financial guarantee to ensure the waste is recovered in an environmentally sound manner.

Regulatory Timescales for Notifications

The dispatch authority has 3 days to transmit the notification, once it is deemed to be complete. If requests for further information are required, this will delay the transmission. If responses to questions are not provided to the authority then it will not be progressed.

All authorities involved in a notification generally have 30 days to provide a decision (7 working days if it is a pre-consented notification). However, an authority can exceed the 30 day deadline if further investigation is required to provide consent. Notifications between Non-OECD countries should allow up to 60 days for authorities to provide a decision.

IWS Login

You can login to your International Waste Shipments account here.

Import Notifications

Please contact the relevant authority in the dispatch country to begin the process.

GB Links - England, Scotland and Wales (EA, SEPA or NRW)

ROI Link - Dublin City Council (NTFSO)

Fees and refunds policy

You can view the latest fees and refunds by using the below link:

Green List controls

Some waste shipments are subject to lower level controls, known as 'green list'. If you are moving waste under these controls:

  • the Notifier must have a valid Broker (ROC) licence with a registered address in the jurisdiction of dispatch. Apply here.
  • you must complete and sign an Annex VII form and ensure it accompanies your waste. Blank Annex VII template can be found here.
  • you must email the form to the TFS team at TFS@daera-ni.gov.uk prior to moving the waste. This applies for green list exports only.
  • you must complete an  Article 18 Waste Shipments Regulation contract for the recovery of the waste between the person sending the waste and the person receiving the waste.
  • comply with all local controls in the destination country.
  • you must ensure the waste is dealt with in an environmentally sound manner throughout its movement and recovery.
  • the person receiving the waste must sign the document that accompanies the waste on receipt and retain in for 3 years.

NIEA guidance note on the completion of an Annex VII form found here.

RDF export records

The following publications consolidate records held by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency for the export of Refuse Derived Fuel from Northern Ireland. Records will be updated as information  becomes available.

Export Records for RDF Shipped from Northern Ireland

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