Chemical manufacturing environmental regulations

Chemical manufacturing waste permits, licences, exemptions and pre-notification


If your business uses, stores, recovers or disposes of waste you must ensure it does not cause pollution. You must check if your waste activities need a permit, licence or exemption from the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA). You must have the appropriate authorisations in place before you start an activity.

Pollution prevention and control (PPC) permits for waste activities - when you need one

You must have a PPC permit if your waste activities are classified as listed activities.

Listed waste activities include some waste incineration plants and landfills.

Waste management licences for waste activities - when you need one

You must have a waste management licence if you carry out certain types of waste management activities.

Waste management activities are waste disposal or recovery activities that require a waste management licence. Mobile plant can be used to carry out waste management activities - this is known as waste mobile plant.

Waste exemptions - which activities they cover

You must usually register an exemption from waste management licensing if you carry out an exempt waste management activity. You must comply with the conditions in your registered exemption.

Exempt waste management activities for your chemical manufacturing business

Exempt waste management activity Exemption reference Registration requirements
Storing any waste (non-hazardous or hazardous) temporarily on the site where it is produced in a secure place for no longer than 12 months, eg waste solvents, oil or plastic packaging Paragraph 41 exemption No need to register

There are quantity limits for storing hazardous waste

Treating waste on the site where it is produced as long as you don't change the physical, chemical or biological nature of the waste, eg baling, compacting, crushing or shredding waste paper, cardboard or cans Paragraph 27 exemption No need to register
Using waste without further treatment, eg use of some waste paint as paint within certain limits in a Community Repaints project Paragraph 16 exemption Must be registered with the NIEA

If you are not sure whether your waste management activity is covered by an exemption, contact NIEA for advice.

You must renew your registered exemption either every year or every three years depending on the exemption.

Waste carrier or broker - when you need to register

You can transport waste produced by your own business directly to an authorised waste management site or recycling facility without being registered, unless it is building or demolition waste.

You must register with NIEA as a waste carrier if you transport:

  • construction and demolition waste produced by your own business
  • any waste produced by another business

See waste carriers, brokers and dealers.

Hazardous waste - when you need to pre-notify NIEA

You must pre-notify NIEA at least 72 hours and not more than one month before any hazardous waste leaves your site. You do this by filling in a consignment note.

See dealing with hazardous waste.

Recovering chemical substances from waste

If you make a product from waste by recovering a chemical substance in quantities of one tonne or more per calendar year, the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) Regulation may apply to you. If your recovered chemical substance is not exempt, you will need to register it with the European Chemicals Agency - see chemical registration and notification for chemical manufacturers.