Who needs a Waste Licence, Permit or Cert of Registration


Waste disposal and recovery activities in Ireland are required to hold an authorisation in accordance with the Waste Management Act 1996 as amended.  

A four tier system of authorisation has been established for the regulation of such activities at a facility.  A waste recovery or disposal activity at a facility is either:

  • an exempted activity (no authorisation required), or
  • requires a Waste (or IPPC) licence, or
  • requires a Waste Facility Permit, or
  • requires a Waste Certificate of Registration / Registration Certificate.

Depending on the authorisation required these activities are controlled either by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or by Local Authorites within their own areas.  All non-exempted Local Authority waste facility activities are regulated by the EPA.

The principal legislative texts governing the form of authorisation required for waste facilities are:

  • Waste Management (Licensing) Regulations 2004 to 2011
  • Waste Management (Facility Permit & Registration) Regulations 2007, as amended

Waste stream specific regulation is articulated in:

  • Waste Management (WEEE) Regulations 2005 (S.I. No. 340 of 2005)
  • Waste Management (Tyres and Waste Types) Regulations 2007 (S.I. No. 664 of 2007)

Ship Recycling is a waste activity that must be regulated and the EPA is the competent authority. More information on ship recycling is available in FAQs.

EPA Controlled Waste Activities:

The Agency is the competent authority for granting and enforcing waste licences for specified waste activities listed in the 3rd and 4th Schedule to the Waste Management Act 1996 as amended.  Such licences are granted for waste activities carried on by both local authorities and private operators.

The Agency issue Certificates of Registration to local authorities for smaller scale waste activities listed in the Third Schedule Part II of the Waste Management (Facility Permit  Registration) Regulations, S.I 821 of 2007 as amended.

Local Authority Controlled Waste Activities:

Local Authorities are the competent authorities for granting and enforcing Waste Permits and Certificates of Registration issued to Private Operators   for those waste activities listed in the Third Schedule to the Waste Management (Facility Permit & Registration) Regulations S.I. No. 821 of 2007 as amended.

Do I need a Licence, Permit or Certificate of Registration?

You may be unclear as to whether you need a waste licence, waste facility permit, a certificate of registration or whether you are exempt from all of these authorisations.  In order to help you decide the Agency has prepared flow charts to help you determine which authorisation is required. 

Flow Charts

The question as to whether or not you are handling waste or a by product/resource may also be relevant.  Two guidance documents available for reading are:-

  1. EU Commission Paper on waste & by-products 
  2. Power Point presentation by Dr Jonathan Derham called "An operational interpretation of elements of EU Jurisprudence on Waste.

Also notable is the text of a recent European Court of Justice (ECJ) judgement on waste.  This ECJ judgement; in paragraphs 31-56 presents a good summary of ECJ jurisprudence on waste.

If having examined this guidance and the flowcharts you are still unsure as to which authorisation is required for your activity you may request the Agency to determine the question for you in accordance with Article 11 of the above Regulations in advance of making an  application for either Licence, Permit or Certificate. Read more about the Article 11 Declaration  process and access the Article 11 webform.

Learn more

Read the full list of activities within the scope of  3rd and 4th Schedule to the  Waste Management Act 1996 as amended.

Read more about Waste Licensing

Read the full list of activities that come within the scope of  Third Schedule of the Waste Management (Facility Permit & Registration) Regulations, S.I 821 of 2007 as amended. Application Forms and Guidance Notes for Waste Licensing and Certificates of Registration

Download the Waste Licence Application Form  and Guidance Notes for applicants.

Download the Certificate of Registration Application Form and Guidance Notes for applicants. 


Application Process Flow Charts

Waste Licence application Process

Certificate of Registration Application Process

Certificate of Registration Review Application Process

If you require additional information, contact the EPA's Environmental Licensing Programme at:

Office of Environmental Sustainability,
PO Box 3000,
Johnstown Castle Estate,
County Wexford
Tel: Locall 1890 33 55 99 or 053 91 60600; Fax 053 91 60699.
Email  Licensing@epa.ie .