Environmental permits and licences - an overview

Waste carrier, broker and dealer registration

There is a two-tier registration system for waste carriers. Waste carriers transport controlled waste as part of their business. Waste brokers arrange for other businesses' controlled waste to be handled, transported, disposed of or recovered. Waste dealers buy waste from other businesses to sell it on. This includes dealers who do not take physical possession of the waste.

Controlled waste includes commercial, industrial and household waste, as well as hazardous waste.

Upper tier carrier registration

If you transport other people's waste, or your own construction or demolition waste, you must register with the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) as an upper tier waste carrier, unless you fall into one of the categories for lower tier waste carriers. If you had a waste carrier certificate before 8 April 2011, it will be classified as an upper tier registration. When your certificate is due to be renewed it will be replaced with an upper tier certificate.

If you do not register and you carry waste, you could be prosecuted, unless you are exempt.

Lower tier carrier registration

Lower tier registration replaces registration as a professional collector or transporter of waste.

You must register as a lower tier waste carrier, broker or dealer if you only deal with:

  • animal by-products
  • waste from mines or quarries
  • waste from agricultural premises

You must also register in the lower tier if you carry, broker or deal in waste and are:

  • a waste collection, regulation or disposal authority
  • a charity or voluntary organisation

You will also need to register as a lower tier carrier if you normally and regularly carry controlled waste produced by your own business, other than construction or demolition waste.

Broker and dealer registration

If you are a waste broker, ie you make arrangements for others to have waste handled, transported, recovered or disposed of, you must:

  • register as a waste broker with NIEA
  • make sure that any waste that you are brokering or have control of is stored and transferred in compliance with the duty of care

If you deal in waste, ie you use an agent to buy waste from other businesses to sell on, you must register with NIEA.

To check if you need to register and find out about exemptions, see the pages on waste carriers - who needs to register and waste brokers or dealers - who needs to register in our guide on waste carriers, brokers and dealers.

Find waste carrier and broker information on the NIEA website.