UK charging schemes

Some charges are included in UK regulations:

Control of Major Accident Hazards

Under Regulation 22 of the Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations 1999 (COMAH), the joint competent authorities, the Health and Safety Executive and the Environment Agency, have the power to charge operators for the regulatory work carried out under COMAH.

Each member of the competent authority has a separate charge rate which is calculated in relation to the costs of that authority. These rates are reviewed annually and are incorporated in amended regulations.

Charges cover the following functions:

  • Examining top-tier operators’ safety reports [regulation 7] and communicating the results of the examination to operators [regulation 17(1)(a)].
  • Considering requests to defer submission of safety reports [regulation 7(9)] and dealing with applications to limit the information within a safety report [regulation 7(12)].
  • Prohibiting operations, including preparation of the Prohibition Notice and discussions with the operator [regulations 17(1)(b) and 18].
  • Inspection to assess compliance at top and lower tier sites [regulation 19], including all preparatory and follow-up activities.
  • Investigating complaints and incidents, to check operator compliance with COMAH.
  • Carrying out enforcement activities, including preparation and serving of Improvement or Prohibition Notices.
  • Work to designate establishments as having potential for domino effects [regulation 16].
  • Considering applications to exclude information from a public register under Schedule 8.

The current hourly charge out rate is £139 (per inspector hour).

Administrative and financial arrangements
The Health and Safety Executive is responsible for administration of the charging scheme and issues invoices and collects payments on our behalf. Timesheets are generated for all chargeable time and these should accompany invoices to operators.

Operators are invoiced within 30 days of the end of each financial quarter (30 June, 30 September, 31 December and 31 March).

Full details of the COMAH regulations and charging guides can be found on the Health and Safety Executive’s website .

Producer responsibility (packaging waste)

The Producer Responsibility Obligation (Packaging Waste) Regulations 2005 were introduced in 1997 and made under Section 93 of the Environment Act 1995:

  • The regulations place an obligation on companies who supply packaging (i.e. manufacturers of packaging, sellers of products supplied in packaging, importers of goods in packaging etc.) to ensure that a specified amount of packaging waste is recovered or recycled each year.
  • A company is required to calculate its obligation and either register directly with SEPA or join a compliance scheme which then registers with us on behalf of its members.
  • Our costs of regulation are covered by charges set in the regulations. Section 94(1) (p) of the Environment Act gives the Government the power to determine the charges.
  • Download the current list of registration charges.

Special waste

The Special Waste Regulations (1996) came into force on 1 September 1996 and made the agencies responsible for the supervision of persons and activities specified in the regulations.

Fees were specified in the regulations dependent on the type of waste. Special waste, as defined under the special waste regulations (1996), includes waste which has the potential to cause the most harm to health and/or the environment. Movements of special waste must be accompanied by a coded consignment note.

The types of code are prefixed by:

  • SA: Prefix applies to all other consignments
  • SB: Prefix for consignments consisting entirely of lead acid batteries
  • SC: Prefix for consignments where a fee is not required e.g. extended carrier rounds and removal of waste from a ship in a harbour area.
Type of consignment note Price per consignment
SA £15
SB £10
SC £0


Special waste notes refund policy
We will only issue a credit or refund for unused consignment note codes which have been purchased from us and returned in full (five parts). We will deduct a charge of £5 from any credit or refund to cover processing and administrative costs.

No refunds will be made where consignment notes purchased from us have been marked or completed wholly or in part, or, where a code only has been purchased from us and that code has been used to pre-notify the movement of special waste even if the movement does not consequently take place.

Where numbered consignment notes have been issued, these must be returned to us prior to any credit or refund.

Credit or refund will only be considered for codes purchased from us less than 18 months ago.

All requests for credit or refund should be made in writing to the Special Waste Consignment Note Administrator at:

Strathallan House
Castle Business Park
Tel: 01786 457700
Fax: 01786 446885

Further information is available on our list of frequently asked questions.