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Smoky Coal Ban

Solid Fuel Regulations

solid fuel

With the aim of protecting and improving public health and indoor and outdoor air quality new Solid Fuel Regulations came into operation on 31st October 2022.  These introduced a nationwide ban on the sale of bituminous (smoky) coal and wet wood, and turf (with limited exceptions) all of which have high smoke emission levels which are linked to poor health outcomes and poor air quality. 

These regulations control the production, quality, labelling, transport and sale of approved solid fuels (e.g. low-smoke coal, firewood, wood pellets and briquettes, firelogs etc- they do not cover kindling or fire lighters) in Ireland. These place new restrictions and requirements on producers / suppliers, transporters and retailers of solid fuel intended for burning to heat domestic or licensed premises (hotels, pubs etc).

The individual obligations on those involved in the supply chain  are summarised below. More detailed guidance in the form of faqs may be found here. A link to the legal text is provide above and should be read by all actors in the area.

What is an “approved solid fuel”?

An “approved fuel” includes what was previously called smokeless, or low-smoke, fuel and has been expanded to include manufactured solid fuels, and part biomass products and firewood.

It is the only type of solid fuel that may legally be sold or distributed for burning in a fireplace or stove in a house or licenced premises. The sale of bituminous (smoky) coal and “wet” wood, and the commercial sale of turf, has been banned.

What makes an approved fuel?

To be called an approved fuel the product must meet certain criteria that reduce its polluting capacity. These are summarised in the table above.

How will I know its an approved solid fuel?

All approved fuels producers have been independently certified as producing product(s) that meet the legal requirements to be an approved solid fuel. This information forms part of an annual application to the EPA by a producer or importer of solid fuel(s) for inclusion on the solid fuel register for each approved fuel type to be placed on the market.

The packaging of each approved solid fuel product will be labelled with a registration number (F-****-**) granted by the EPA and display the wording “Contents comply with the Air Pollution Act Regulations”. If the product is a manufactured part biomass it must also display the percentage biomass used in the product.

Firewood sold in volumes of less than 2m3 will also display this information, but above this only a notice advising on the correct storage and drying to achieve a lower moisture content will be displayed.

Requirements for Producers / importers

Each fuel producer must:

  • Produce only “approved solid fuels” as defined under regulation 5
  • Register annually with the EPA 
  • Apply for and hold, annually, a Certificate of Compliance under regulation 10 demonstrating that their product(s) meet the requirements of regulation 5
  • Label products with: 
    • their EPA-issued registration number and the wording “contents comply with Air pollution Act Regulations”. 
    • the percentage biomass content where biomass is used in the fuel blend
    • a notice as per Schedule 1 of the regulations where wood is sold in volumes of more than 2m3 advising on the storage of same.
  • Only undertake activities and provide products that are registered with the EPA and which have been considered by the certification body providing their Certificate of Compliance

Requirements for Transporters (this includes Couriers, Haulage Companies, Producers, Retailers etc.)

Persons driving or in possession of a vehicle transporting solid fuels must maintain in the vehicle:

  • A record of each type of solid fuel and its quantity on the vehicle 
  • The name and address of the supplier(s)
  • The name and address of the destination of each solid fuel
    (This does not apply to bellmen for destinations in advance of sale but should be recorded after the sale)
  • Proof that the solid fuel is an approved solid fuel (e.g. invoices, credit notes, dispatch or delivery dockets detailing the products purchased) from a registered producer. These documents shall display the registration number of the producer on the fuels register.
  • All these records must be maintained on the vehicle and be available for inspection by an authorised officer

The requirement to be able to demonstrate that any solid fuel is an approved fuel applies to private citizens also.

Requirements for Retailer

  • You may only display or sell solid fuel from a producer on the current EPA fuel register 
  • The producer must be registered to produce that fuel type
  • You must keep records for a one year period to show that all solid fuel sold or distributed is an approved solid fuel (e.g. invoices, credit notes, dispatch or delivery dockets detailing the products purchased) from a producer on the fuel register. These documents shall display the registration number of the producer and be made available for inspection by an authorised officer
  • Only approved solid fuel shall be sold

How to become a registered solid fuel producer

The regulations define a “producer” as follows:

“in relation to a solid fuel means a person who for the purposes of combustion or heating, produces or treats or imports solid fuel for retail or distribution in the State, and produce shall be read accordingly”

The EPA is solely responsible for all matters relating to the Solid Fuel Register. Information on the application process as well as the application form may be found here.

Note: this process must be gone through annually. If registration lapses no products may be produced or retailed, regardless of previous status.

The EPA may be contacted at:


Telephone: +353 (0)1 268 0100