Farm based waste exemptions registered before 6th April 2010 will expire on 30th September 2013. By this date you will need to have registered for a new exemption, or cease the activity.

If you fail to register an exemption for an activity you are carrying out after this date, you will be committing an offence. Most farms are likely to need to register at least one exemption. If you do not, then there is a risk you may receive an inspection.


Registration is a form of self certification. By registering you are confirming that you:

  • Have read and understood the limits and conditions that allow you to operate without a permit.
  • Are carrying out your waste operation within the conditions/limits.
  • Are not posing a risk to water, soil, air, plants, and human health.
  • Are not causing a nuisance through noise or odours.

If you do not comply with the conditions of an exemption you have registered, or if you damage the environment, watch out!

All farm exemptions are free.

A waste exemption does not stop you needing planning consents – get advice from your local planning authority before carrying out any waste development.


Farming activities such as building tracks with rubble/stone/woodchip, using tyres on top of silage sheets, using paper bedding, burning hedge cuttings, all need an exemption.

Some of the new exemptions are almost identical to the old ones, some are similar but have different limits and conditions, and some are completely new.

A full list of all the agricultural exemptions, and their limits and conditions. If you would like a paper copy of these please contact the Environment Agency on 0845 603 3113.


You need to register all your waste activities that are exempt by 30th September 2013. If some activities you cannot comply within the limits and conditions, then you need to either stop the activity, or apply for a permit before 30th September 2013.

Each registration lasts 3 years, after which it will expire unless you re-register to continue to use it. The Environment Agency will write to you when they are due for renewal, but it is your responsibility to ensure that you have a valid registration!

You can add or remove exemptions at any time during the 3 year period, by contacting the Environment Agency.


Online registration is the quickest and easiest way of registering your exemptions at the following link:

However, be warned, you cannot save a partly completed application form, so ensure you have all the relevant information before you begin.

You will need to provide the following information:

  • Name and address of your business.
  • The’ place’ where the exemption activities are to be carried out – postcode or 12 digit grid reference.
  • The name of the waste exemption(s) you want to register.

For each location or ‘place’ you can only register one exemption of a particular type – the first one being the valid one. This also applies if different people try to register the same exemption at the same location during the same registration period.

In relation to farms, the ‘place’ refers to the farm in question. Yards or land parcels with different addresses and correspondence addresses are considered separate units and should be registered as separate ‘places’.

If you wish to register by post, then contact the Environment Agency on 0845 603 3113, who can post you the relevant forms.


This newsletter is for farmers managing their own agricultural waste on their farms. It does not cover exemptions that are for managing other people’s waste which are used by waste management businesses. For further details on these exemptions go to the following link:


The Official Guidance has been updated by Defra in June 2013. Please note that this supercedes much of the information in the original NVZ publications including those in the Planet library! The new exemptions do not tie up exactly with the old ones you applied for 3 years ago.