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Environmental Legislation

The best comprehensive guide to environmental legislation relevant to the leather industry is provided on the Environmental Agency “Netregs” site.


The key environmental legislation affecting the leather industry includes:

  • Environmental Permitting Regulations (2010) – see the netregs link above for further details.
  • Process Guidance Note PG6/21 (Secretary of State’s Guidance for Hide and Skin processing) – revised draft currently out for consultation
  • Process Guidance Note PG6/22 (Secretary of State’s Guidance for Leather Finishing)


The Environmental Permitting Regulations were amended in 2013 in order to implement the requirements of the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) into UK law. For existing operators, there will be little noticeable change. However, the IED requires more prescriptive application of the European sector Best Practice Reference Documents (BREF) in determining the Best Available Technique (BAT) for preventing and controlling industrial emissions to the environment. This means that conditions of existing permits may be revised in the light of developments in BAT. However, revisions to permits will be determined on a case-by-case basis and in consultation with the permit holder.

The latest EC decision on BAT for the leather sector, 2013/84/EU, was published in February, 2013.

The latest version of the BREF was published in July 2013