Cyber-attack & data theft: Our response & service status

Licensed and permitted sites

Service status

A sophisticated criminal cyber-attack has had a major impact on the way SEPA works. We are working through all the services that we provide to understand what we need to do in the short and longer term to restore services. We are approaching this work with a sense of urgency.

Service status update 6 May 2021: Data returns

What are we able to do now?

  • Many environmental licences include a requirement to submit data returns or other reporting requirements on an annual or quarterly basis.

What should you do now?

  • Do continue to prepare your reports and submissions but don’t send them to us or enquire about submission at present. We’ll provide further updates on how to send information to us as soon as possible. This includes any Scottish Pollutant Return Inventory (SPRI) returns.

  • For businesses who are required to submit Producer Responsibility (PR) data, please continue to use the relevant UK system to submit your data. SEPA is also now able to receive data submissions via the mailbox.

  • For the avoidance of doubt, you should continue to report any environmental incidents as required by your SEPA permit by contacting our 24 Hour Pollution Hotline: 0800 80 70 60.

Next update: 14 May 2021


QuarterReporting PeriodDeadline for Submission to SEPA
1 1 January to 31 March 28 April
2 1 April to 30 June 28 July
3 1 July to 30 September 28 October
4 1 October to 31 December 28 January
Annual 1 January to 31 December 28 January

Waste management activities in Scotland are regulated by SEPA to prevent pollution and to prevent harm to human health. SEPA regulates these activities through Waste Management Licences (WMLs) and Pollution Prevention and Control permits (PPCs).

All operators holding a WML and some site operators holding a PPC are required to submit waste data returns to SEPA on a quarterly or annual basis. A summary report for each data return is placed on SEPA’s public register and a summary is published in the Scottish waste sites and capacity tool.

The reporting periods and submission deadlines are shown above. Late submission or submissions of poor quality data may affect compliance scores.

Operators are asked to submit their waste data returns in Excel format using the standard Licensed/Permitted Site Return (LSR) form and guidance provided below. Please check this webpage regularly for any updates to the return form or guidance.

Further information on the coding of waste is available:

More information and links to the various reports we produce using the LSR data are available on our Waste data page.