Emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds from Solvents Regulations 2002 S.I. No. 543 of 2002 is replaced by S.I. No. 565 of 2012 - European Union (Installations and Activities using Organic Solvents) Regulations 2012.

Regulations governing solvent emissions are now in force. These oversee  the emission of solvent vapours from 20 specified activities and bring the activities of much smaller businesses under the control of the local authorities.  Implementation and guidance has been developed as part of the National Waste Prevention Programme. 

Who is affected?

Businesses now affected include:

  • Vehicle refinishing companies which carry out original coating of road vehicles or trailers. 
  • Dry cleaners

Activities using more than 10 tonnes per annum of solvents require an Integrated Pollution Prevention & Control (IPPC) licence from the EPA.

Panel of Approved Assessors

The revised regulations for solvents activities (including dry cleaning) required the EPA to set up a panel of approved assessors to replace the existing AIC inspection body system. These Approved Assessors will, from September 2013 be the inspection bodies for the purposes of carrying out inspections under the regulations.  Inspections prior to this date must continue to be carried out by the current interim approved assessor (Certification Europe). The details of the panel of Approved Assessors are as follows:

 EnviroGuide Consulting – Phone: 01 2711896 – Web:

What you need to do

Regulated operators must use Approved Assessors for the purposes of getting their premises inspected, and as with the previous AIC system the operator should engage the services of an assessor and pay them directly. In order to obtain your certificate of compliance from your local authority you must then send a compliant Approved Assessor report along with the application fee to your local authority.

The EPA would also like to remind you of some of the new aspects of the regulations:

  • Local Authorities can now issue certificates of compliance for up to 3 years rather than the previous 1 year period. However, certificates of a shorter duration may be issued if a Local Authority has concerns about a specific installation (including failure to renew certificates in time). 
  • Regardless of the duration of certificates, all operators are required to submit an annual self-assessment compliance report to their local authority, commencing with a report for the year 2014 (to be submitted in 2015). Templates for these reports will be issued to you in advance of the reporting period. If you fail to submit a self-assessment annual report you may not be allowed to renew your certificate until such time as any outstanding reports are submitted.
  • The application fee payable by operators to their Local Authority has increased from €50 to €70 for new applications (but remains €50 for renewals). If an operator does not renew their certificate of compliance prior to its expiry date, they must then apply for a new certificate.
  • The fine for uncertified operators has increased from €3,000 to €5,000 or imprisonment for up to six months, or both.
  • A copy of your certificate of compliance must be displayed in a prominent position at your premises.

It is illegal for any uncertified operator to carry out an activity for which a certificate of compliance is required under these Regulations. Any such operators should arrange for an inspection immediately.
Further news, updates and information can be obtained at the following website and by contacting your Local Authority.

Vehicle refinishing

S.I. No. 564 of 2012 -  European Union (Paints, Varnishes, Vehicle Refinishing Products and Activities) Regulations 2012, have replaced S.I. No. 199 of 2007 -  Limitations of Volatile Organic Compounds due to the use of organic solvents in certain paints, varnishes and vehicle refinishing products Regulations, 2007.

The new Deco-paints Regulations cover the Vehicle Refinishing for Repair Sector.  The Regulation limits the solvent content of all paints, including those used for vehicle refinishing. 

Please note that the original coating of real vehicles and trailers continues to be governed by the Solvent, not the Deco-paints Regulations.

Learn more


Fourth Report on the implementation of the Solvents Directive 1999/13/EC in Ireland for January 2011 - December 2013

Download  a records spreadsheet for dry cleaners

Download  Legislation 

List of relevant contacts in Local Authorities

Best Practice Guidance for Dry Cleaners 2012