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Our charges

Find out what we charge, how and why we set charges and how to contact us for information or related queries

Changes for 2019-20

We are committed to continually improving our processes to make them streamlined and efficient to help minimise fees and charges as much as possible. Our recent consultation has however resulted in changes to some charges:

  • Increase of 2.4% to Waste, Installations, Material Recovery Facilities (MRF) and European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) charges
  • We need to increase the Abstraction Standard Unit Charge (SUC) by +5% in 2019/20 and +2.75% in 2020/21
  • We are increasing our hourly rate for Control of Major Accidents and Hazard (COMAH) from £125 up to £152
  • We are introducing a new charge of £800 for assessing Waste Recovery Plans (WRP)
  • We have revised the Medium Combustion Plant Directive (MCPD) scheme to better reflect the finalised MCPD and Specified Generator (SG) provisions

Information about our consultation is available on our charging proposal for 2019-20.

Increases to move towards full cost recovery

We have identified under-recovery in some regimes and intend to move towards full cost recovery by increasing those charges. We have however limited these increases to the rate of inflation for the 2019-20 scheme. 

The rate of increase for the 2019-20 scheme will be 2.4% (based on the Consumer Price Index (CPIH) at September 2018). The regimes we intend to apply this increase to are Waste, Installations, Material Recovery Facilities (MRF) and European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS). The increase will be applied to application charges and subsistence fees.

Abstraction Standard Unit Charge (SUC)

Changes to reservoir safety requirements, demand pressures and significant assets coming to the end of their useful lives have resulted in significant infrastructure investment of £23.5 million being needed over the next 8 years. The proposal is for this to be paid through the Standard Unit Charge account as per the terms of the Water Resources Act 1991 Section 20 agreements. 

To manage charge balances and avoid large increases in the short term the proposal is to smooth these costs over a longer timeframe, initially leading to increases in the SUC of +5% in 2019/20 followed by a further increase of +2.75% in 2020/21. Future increases beyond this time frame will also be required, given the scale of this programme.

Control of Major Accidents and Hazard (COMAH) Regulations

NRW is required to recover costs for its regulatory activity. We do this using our hourly rate which has remained at £125 for a number of years. We have carried out analysis which identified under-recovery. We have carried out an assessment of our costs to develop our revised hourly rate. To fully cost recover we intend to increase our hourly rate for COMAH regulation to £152. 

Waste Recovery Plan (WRP) assessment

We are introducing a fixed charge of £800 to assess a new, varied or revised WRP. This charge is separate to any permit application charge. 

Medium Combustion Plant Directive and Specified Generator controls

NRW is the sole regulator for medium combustion plant and specified generator activities in Wales. We recover cost for permitting and compliance of new medium combustion plant from 20 December 2018 and existing plant from 2024 and 2029 depending on their size. We recover cost for permitting and compliance of Tranche B specified generators from 1 January 2019 and Tranche A specified generators from 1 October 2019.

More information about MCPD and Specified Generator provisions including application forms and technical guidance can be found on our website

Policy Changes

We are making some policy changes which while not altering our charges may affect the provision of non-charged services we provide.

  • We are updating our guidance relating to permit variations to ensure the level of technical assessment required is reflected in the charge
  • Water Quality permit variations required by operators to achieve continual compliance will be classed as Operator-Initiated in the future
  • We are limiting the provision of basic pre-application advice (not charged) to 2 hours. Bespoke advice can be provided but this will be cost recovered through our Discretionary Advice Service (£125 per hour plus VAT)
  • Where our advice is sought for groundwater pollution remediation we will recover our costs using our standard hourly rate of £125 plus VAT. This will be provided under the Discretionary Advice Service
  • We are increasing our enforcement and investigation cost recovery rate to £125 per hour

Our current charging schemes

Our charging schemes for 2019/20 are in place from 1 April 2019 until 31 March 2020 and cover the different activities that we regulate under various pieces of legislation.  Our charges are reviewed regularly, and any changes consulted upon. 

Environmental Permitting charges

This charging scheme covers the different types of operations that require a permit or consent under the Environmental Permitting Regulations including waste facilities, installations, mining waste operations, waste exemptions, mobile plant, water quality (discharges to water and groundwater), radioactive substances and flood risk activities.  It also covers other miscellaneous charges such as waste carriers, brokers and dealers, international waste shipments and producer responsibility.

We use OPRA to assess the risk to the environment from sites we regulate with environmental permits. If you’re applying for a new bespoke permit or changes to an existing bespoke permit, your fee will be based on the OPRA score for your site. The relevant OPRA spreadsheet(s) you will need to complete can be found below. A link to the relevant Environment Agency guidance on how to complete an OPRA spreadsheet, which we are continuing to follow, can also be found at the bottom of this webpage. 

Abstraction charges

Charges for abstraction licences are set to cover the costs we incur in ensuring water resources are managed effectively. This also includes details on the Environmental Improvement Unit Charges (EIUC) which is zero for 2018/19.

We are increasing the Standard Unit Charge (SUC) in 2019/20 as detailed above.

Other charges

Control of major accident hazards (COMAH) charges

These charges cover the costs of our regulation as part of the COMAH Competent Authority tasked with controlling Major Accident Hazards.  Natural Resources Wales, along with the Health and Safety Executive and the Office for Nuclear Regulation, form the COMAH Competent Authority in Wales.  We ensure that duty holders take all measures necessary to prevent major accidents and limit their consequences for human health and the environment.

We raise charges to recover our costs incurred in carrying out the functions of the COMAH 2015 Regulations based on a time and materials approach.  We raise invoices within 30 days of 31 March and 30 September each year. From 01 April 2019 our charge out rate will be £152 per inspector hour unless otherwise stated.

The fees payable by operators to the Competent Authority are laid out in Regulation 28 of the COMAH 2015 Regulations.  This means that the COMAH Competent Authority may charge for the discharge of any function conferred by the COMAH 2015 Regulations with the exception of:

  1. any criminal investigation or prosecution incurred, in either case, from the date any summons is obtained from a Magistrates Court;
  2. functions of the competent authority related to preparation of External Emergency Plans under Regulation 13

CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme

Natural Resources Wales is responsible for auditing, compliance and enforcement of CRC participants in Wales. We raise charges to recover the costs of this work, which includes contributing to the maintenance of UK-wide systems such as the CRC Registry.

In July 2018, the UK Government formally announced that the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) Scheme will be closing at the end of March 2019 and that the SECR (Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting) scheme will replace it.

As SECR reporting will be done through Companies House, it will fall outside the remit of Devolved Administrations and there may not be a role for NRW going forward. There may be ongoing administration and enforcement work beyond the CRC closure date of 31st March 2019,  therefore we may need to continue to charge you for CRC work in the short-term. We will keep you informed.

EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) charges

All EU ETS regulation, compliance, enforcement, auditing and permitting activities (including new permits, variations, surrenders, revocations, notifications, activity/capacity changes and new entrants reserve applications) for sites in Wales are carried out by Natural Resources Wales. We raise charges to recover the costs of this work, which includes contributing to the maintenance of UK-wide systems such as the UK Registry and ETSWAP.

The current remit of NRW within the Emissions Trading Scheme may change depending on the outcome of the EU Exit negotiations. At this point in time, a number of alternatives are being considered by the UK Government including continuing within the EU scheme. If our continued involvement in the EU scheme is not agreed as part of the EU Withdrawal agreement, then an alternative approach will be developed by UK Government. NRW’s role may change as a result and if this is the case, we will review the outcome and inform you of any impact on charges going forward.

Reservoir Safety

The Reservoirs Act 1975 seeks to protect people, property and infrastructure by reducing the risk of flooding caused by dam or reservoir failure. It is our duty to ensure owners and operators of large raised reservoirs manage them appropriately.

We recover a portion of our costs through initial registration fees, this includes the cost of determining the level of risk attributable to the reservoir. The additional work we do to monitor high risk reservoirs is recovered through annual charges on the owners or operators of reservoirs. More information is available on our website.

Nuclear Regulation in Wales

We have maintained our Nuclear rates for 2019/20 at 2018/19 level.

The Environment Agency carries out some nuclear regulation work at sites in Wales on behalf of NRW. The charges are part of NRW fees and charges however they are impacted on by the EA charging scheme. The EA have consulted separately on their fees and charges and published their consultation response on their website.

Charging for information

Find out more about the information we provide for free and what we charge for.

We can also provide bespoke advice and information through our Discretionary Advice Service. Where this relates to pre-application advice and Groundwater remediation advice please discuss options with the local NRW team.

Fisheries charges

Find out more about our charges for;

Strategic Review of Charging (SRoC)

We have started a strategic review of charging across NRW to ensure full cost recovery and deliver Sustainable Management of Natural Resources. The strategic review of charging will ensure regulation in Wales is sustainable, encourages behaviour change and delivers long term outcomes.

Central to this review will be the principle that the cost of regulation is met by those we regulate and is therefore less reliant on the Welsh taxpayer. The review is an opportunity to explore innovative and collaborative ways of working and develop a transparent evidence base for our wide remit of regulatory activity.   We will be seeking stakeholder engagement throughout development to help ensure the new scheme is fair to business and the public of Wales.

We intend to keep our future annual review of charges to a minimum while we work to deliver the strategic review of charges. Further information and ways to get involved are available on our website. 

Electronic payments

If you want to pay for your permit or licence application by electronic transfer please use the information below to make your payment.

Company name:           Natural Resources Wales          
Company address:       Income Department, PO BOX 663, Cardiff, CF24 0TP    
Bank:                              RBS    
Address:                         National Westminster Bank Plc, 2 ½ Devonshire Square, London, EC2M 4BA
Sort code:                      60-70-80          
Account number:          10014438

Details given in your permit/ licence application forms may have changed since it was issued. We will update our forms as soon as possible, but please use the information below when making electronic payments from now on.

Making payments from outside the UK
These details have changed. If you are making your payment from outside the United Kingdom (which must be received in sterling), our IBAN number is GB70 NWBK6070 8010 014438 and our SWIFT/BIC number is NWBKGB2L.

Send us your payment details/Remittance Advice by email
Please email your payment details and payment type details (such as ‘Waste Variation’ or ‘Water Quality New’) to or

You must include your company name and invoice number/reference. Where possible, please also submit a remittance advice. This will ensure accurate processing of your payment.

You should still include the BACS payment reference on the application form itself.
If you do not quote your payment reference number, there may be a delay in processing your payment and application.

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