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Waste carriers and brokers

Why is the transport of waste regulated?

The regulations are there to make sure that waste is properly recycled, recovered or disposed of, and to prevent flytipping.

Flytipping can be hazardous to health and the environment, looks unsightly and costs a lot to clean up. It also undermines compliant waste transporters, damaging legitimate businesses.

Waste carriers and brokers

If you deal with the transportation of commercial, industrial or household waste (including any waste from a house, shop, office, factory or any other trade or business premises) as part of your business, you must register with us.

All waste from these sources is controlled waste whether it is liquid or solid and even if it is not hazardous or toxic. It includes, but is not limited to:

  • unwanted surplus substances;
  • building or demolition waste; and
  • anything that is disposed of as broken, worn out, contaminated or spoiled in some other way.

You must register if you are a sole trader, partnership or company, even if you only deal with the waste occasionally.

If you transport the waste yourself, you are a waste carrier. If you arrange to have it carried, you are a waste broker.

If you don’t register, you could face a fine of up to £5,000.

You only need to register with one regulator for movement between England, Wales and Scotland.

For transport to and from Northern Ireland, you will need to register with the Northern Ireland Environment Agency as well as the regulator for the other country.

You can check our online database to see any waste carrier or broker’s details and make sure they’re registered correctly. You can also get this information from any SEPA office.

Professional collectors and transporters of waste

You must ensure you are registered as a professional collector or transporter of waste if:

  • you’re a charity or voluntary organisation and you transport waste; or
  • you only carry waste that you have produced as a result of your business (excluding construction and demolition waste),

There’s no charge for this type of registration.

How do I register?

To check for a current registration or if you are in any doubt as to whether registration is required, please contact us to discuss your situation in more detail.

Registrations are subject to the following fees:


Waste Carrier


Waste Broker


Carrier’s renewal


Broker’s renewal


Waste carrier and broker

You can use our online service to register for the first time or renew your existing registration.

The online methods above are simple and quick; however, you can download a paper form, scan and send it if you prefer. To do this you'll need to pay by Quickpay and include the payment reference to your email. The paper form and instructions for paying are on our application forms page.

Once registered, a certificate of registration will be issued to you. This is also available in a credit card-sized copy at a small additional charge of £5 – but please note that due to current restrictions there is a delay in issuing these.

Your registration will be valid throughout the UK for three years from the date of issue. You can renew your registration after this, for a reduced fee.


Professional collectors or transporters

To register as a professional collector or transporter of controlled waste, please complete the online application form. You can download, scan and send a paper copy together with a receipt of payment if you prefer, although the online process is quicker and easier.

The legislation

The requirement to register as a carrier or broker of controlled waste is contained within the Control of Pollution (Amendment) Act 1989 and the Controlled Waste (Registration of Carriers and Seizure of Vehicles) Regulations 1991.

The regulations require that any person who transports or makes arrangements for management of waste in the course of any business must register with the enforcing authority.

Professional collectors and transporters of waste are regulated by the Waste Management Licensing (Scotland) Regulations 2011, which requires operators to notify us of the business they carry out and the location(s) from which they operate. 

The Duty of Care legislation requires that all transfers of waste are appropriately recorded in order to assist in tracking movements of waste.

In addition, the regulations place additional obligations on waste producers, carriers and any person within the chain of persons handling waste to consider the manner in which they deal with the material.

General guidance on the duty of care and responsibilities for persons who produce, carry, handle or otherwise deal with waste has been produced by the Scottish Government.