The Carrier Bag Levy

How do I pay the Carrier Bag Levy to DAERA?

Retailers operating in Northern Ireland must collect a 5 pence levy from all carrier bags sold below 20 pence. The money collected from the 5 pence levy must be paid to the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).

To pay the levy to DAERA, you need to register your business online. If you have not received a letter about registering, you should call the Carrier Bag Levy Team on Tel 028 7744 2056 or email

If you operate as part of a chain or a larger business group, you should confirm with your head office (or accounts section) whether your store is part of a single company-wide return.

Once registered you will be able to manage your returns online.

You need to keep and retain the following details for your records:

  • the number of carrier bags attracting the requirement to charge which were supplied to customers
  • the gross proceeds received for carrier bags which attract the requirement to charge
  • the amount received by way of the 5 pence charge
  • any amount of chargeable VAT relating to the 5 pence charge
  • the net proceeds of the charge

You may be fined or have corrective actions imposed on your business if you don't:

  • charge the levy
  • pay the proceeds of the charge to DAERA
  • keep, retain or supply records

You must make quarterly online returns to DAERA and complete the following information:

  • declare the number of carrier bags you have given out for which you only charged the 5p levy
  • declare the number of carrier bags you have given out for which you charged both the 5p levy and your own retail price of less than 20p
  • make the associated payment to DAERA within 28 days of the end of the quarter
  Period owing payment due
Quarter 1 April, May and June 1 July - 28 July
quarter 2 July, August and September 1 October - 28 October
quarter 3 October, November and December 1 January - 28 January
quarter 4 January, February and March

1 April - 28 April





You can contact the DAERA Carrier Bag Levy Team for further advice on Tel 028 7744 2056 or email