Importing and exporting waste guidance

IWS online

The new online system for International Waste Shipments - IWS online – is now available for you to use: IWS online

You’ll need to register as a user. The only information you need to do this, is your name, address and telephone number, company, email address and  to create a password. IWS online will send you an email to verify the address and then you can start to use the system to apply for export notifications, view progress of your applications, generate pre-notifications and record shipment data. 

You can use IWS online on your desk top lap top or mobile device, so you’ll be able to get started as soon as you want to.

You can find the link on

Notifications you’ve submitted before 18 April

If you submitted a notification before 18 April, it won’t be on IWS online. We have no plans to move those notifications onto IWS online, which means you’ll need to continue to send ‘paper’ movement documents to us as you’ve always done.

What about if I need help with IWS online?

Please note that IWS online has been developed by the Environment Agency (of England), so some issues may need to be referred to them, however in the first instance if you need any help or have any questions about IWS online, please contact NRW’s Waste Shipment Unit – tel. 0300 065 3073 or email us:

Import and export of waste

The export and import of many wastes for recovery require written consent (from all ‘Competent Authorities’ of all the countries involved) before moving the waste. You must comply with a range of other requirements, especially the requirements to provide a Financial Guarantee and have a valid written contract with the recovery site (exports) or waste producer (imports).

Please note that a fee is also payable. Further information on importing and exporting waste is available via the link on this web page.

Waste Exports

You need to determine which level of control will apply for the particular waste you wish to export to a particular country.

There are 3 possibilities:

  • it may be prohibited (can’t be exported)
  • requiring prior written notification
  • ‘green list’ (Article 18 / Annex VII controls)

To help you determine which level of control applies, you can use the ‘waste export controls tool’ which is based on the Environment Agency’s website. A link to the tool is available on this web page.

Waste Imports

If you are looking to import waste into the UK you must ensure the proper procedures have been followed. You will need to know if the waste import is allowed and, if so, under what controls.

In the case of waste subject to notification control you will be required to complete “movement documents” (Annex 1B’s) on receipt and on completion of the recovery or disposal of the waste, and send copies of those documents to all the relevant Competent Authorities and to the person/company who sent the waste.

In all cases you will need to keep copies of the documents relating to the imported waste for at least three years.

What you need to do

For waste exports, the first thing you must do is get notification and movement forms from Natural Resources Wales / Waste Shipments Unit.

The waste shipments unit can be reached by email at

The notification form we will send to you will have a unique number. You will be given annex templates to help you provide any supporting information required.

A fee is payable which is dependent on the maximum number of shipments intended. Please see the charges matrix.

International Waste Shipments - notification charges
Activity 1 2 to 5 6 to 20 21 to 100 101 to 500 500+
Export for recovery £1,450 £1,450 £2,700 £4,070 £7,920 £14,380
Export for non interim disposal £1,540 £1,540 £3,330 £5,500 £10,600 £19,500
Export for interim disposal £1,700 £1,700 £3,330 £6,000 £12,900 £24,000
Import for non interim recovery £1,250 £1,250 £2,700 £4,900 £10,600 £19,500
Import for interim recovery £1,450 £1,450 £2,830 £5,500 £12,900 £24,000
Import for non-interim disposal £1,540 £1,540 £3,330 £5,500 £10,600 £19,500
Import for interim disposal £1,700 £1,700 £3,330 £6,000 £12,900 £24,000

Please note that the Environment Agency have now ceased to process waste notifications (for waste exports and imports) on behalf of Natural Resources Wales.

As of 1st November 2014 you will need to send all new International Waste Shipment notifications ( for sites in Wales) and the ‘movement’ documents (Annex 1B’s) to NRW’s Waste Shipments Unit at the following address:

Waste Shipments Unit
Natural Resources Wales
St Mellons Business Park
Cardiff CF3 0EY
Tel: 0300 065 3073


There is one charge per notification which is payable to Natural Resources Wales when the notification is made.

You can pay the fees by electronic transfer, phone (credit or debit card) or post.

To pay by phone please call: 0300 065 3073 or 0300 065 3000 + option 3.

Radioactive Waste Shipments

  • Shipments of Radioactive Waste and Spent Fuel – the Environment Agency administers this service on behalf of Natural Resources Wales. Please follow the link on this web page for further information
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