Shipping radioactive sources between the UK and EU

This guidance replaces the former Regulation 1493/93 process following the UK's departure from the EU.

Written declarations

Imports of sealed radioactive sources to the UK from the EU still need a prior written declaration to be made before shipments can take place. These can cover more than one shipment and can last up to 3 years. Prior written declarations made before we left the EU remain valid from 1 January 2021 until their specified expiry date.

When a new prior written declaration is needed for sources intended for Wales, this can be made to Natural Resources Wales using the form for shipments of radioactive substances. 

To obtain a copy of this form, please contact us at We will tell you how to send it to us securely. Please do not send it electronically without encryption.

Further information on the processes that operators need to follow is set out on the GOV.UK website.

Find out about shipping radioactive sources between the UK and the EU on GOV.UK.

Exempt sources

Some sealed sources are of such low activity that they are exempt, see Table 5 in Schedule 23 to the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2010 (as amended in 2011). For example a cobalt-60 source less than 100 kBq is exempt.

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