EC Directive on Batteries and Accumulators and Waste Batteries and Accumulators
The Batteries and Accumulators and Waste Batteries and Accumulators Directive (2006/66/EC) aim is to improve the environmental performance of batteries and accumulators and minimise the impact waste batteries and accumulators has on the environment. The Directive achieves these aims by placing requirements on the design of all new batteries, and maximising the separate collection, treatment and recycling of waste batteries and accumulators, reducing the disposal of batteries and accumulators in the municipal waste stream. This aspiration is consistent with the UK Government sustainable development and waste strategies.
Key requirements of the Directive include:
- Restrictions on the use of cadmium and mercury in the design and manufacture of new batteries (subject to exemption and review).
- Labelling requirements – all new batteries to be marked with a crossed out wheeled bin symbol and the appropriate chemical symbol where applicable.
- Registration of all ‘producers’ e.g. manufacturers or importers of batteries into the UK.
- Collection targets for waste portable batteries of 25% of average annual sales in the UK by 2012, rising to 45% in 2016.
- A ban on the disposal of untreated automotive and industrial batteries in landfill or by incineration.
- A requirement for ‘producers’ or third parties acting on their behalf to arrange for the collection and recycling of waste industrial and automotive batteries.
- Requirement for ‘producers’ or third parties acting on their behalf to arrange for the collection and recycling and/or sound disposal of waste portable batteries deposited at collection facilities.
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) is the lead UK Government Department for the Batteries Directive – specifically, BIS leads on the Internal Market (or design) provisions of the Directive, and the environmental provisions of the Directive with respect to waste industrial and automotive batteries. Defra leads on policy relating to the waste provisions of the Directive with regards to waste portable batteries.
Further information on policy relating to waste portable batteries, portable Batteries Compliance Schemes and distributor take-back requirements and can be found on Defra’s website here.
1. Latest Information
3. Current legislation
4. Previous Legislation
1. Latest information
- BIS, the Environment Agency (EA), Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) have worked together to deliver an integrated system to support batteries registration and reporting. Producers of industrial and automotive batteries in the UK can register themselves using the batteries registration system on the EA website (please refer to Guidance Documents found on this page to find out if you are defined in the legislation as ‘producer’).
- The Batteries Directive Technical Adaptation Committee TAC) met in Brussels on 6 November 2009. Unofficial note of the Technical Adaptation Committee on the Batteries Directive (2006/66/EC): November 2009 (PDF, 63KB)
- UK Regulations the Waste Batteries and accumulators Regulations 2009 (SI 2009 No. 890) implementing the waste provisions of the Batteries Directive were laid in Parliament on 14 April 2009. These Regulations can be found on the Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI) website. A Government guidance document intended to give advice on the Waste Battery and Accumulator Regulations 2009 (SI 2009/890) is available here: The Waste Batteries and Accumulators Regulations 2009: Government guidance notes (PDF, 840KB)
- BIS has appointed the National Measurement office (NMO) as the enforcement body responsible for enforcing the Batteries and Accumulators (Placing on the Market) Regulations 2008. More information on the enforcement of these Regulations and a dedicated online enquiry service can be found here.
- The Batteries Directive Technical Adaptation Committee TAC) met in Brussels on 20 October 2008. Unofficial Note of the October 2008 Batteries and Accumulators TAC (PDF, 51KB)
- UK Regulations the Batteries and Accumulators (Placing on the Market) Regulations 2008 (SI 2008 No. 2164) implementing the Internal Market provisions of the Batteries Directive were laid in Parliament on 15 August 2008. These Regulations can be found on the Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI) website. A Government guidance document intended to give advice on these new requirements is available here: The Batteries and Accumulators (Placing on the Market) Regulations 2008: Government guidance notes (PDF, 137KB)
- BERR, Defra and the Devolved Administrations also consulted a second time with draft Regulations on the implementation of the Batteries and Accumulators and Waste Batteries and Accumulators Directive – Waste Battery Collection and Recycling Provisions (URN/081488) between December 2008 and February 2009.
- Following the analysis of the Consultation Document (URN07/710) on options for implementing the Batteries Directive (2006/66/EC), the Government initiated a second consultation with draft Regulations on the Internal Market aspects of the Directive (URN 08/913) in order that legislation addressing those requirements could be laid in Parliament and take effect from 26 September 2008.
- BERR, Defra and the Devolved Administrations published its first Consultation Document (URN 07/710), between December 2007 and March 2008 seeking views on options for implementing the requirements of the Batteries Directive. On 10 January 2007 the Department of Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform (BERR) and Defra arranged a "Futurefocus" event at the BERR offices in London. 19 invited industry representatives took part in a "brainstorming" event looking into possible implications of the Directive for the UK. Participants were given the opportunity to comment on a series of questions on an anonymous basis. A report showing the full range of comments made during the workshop is attached: Batteries & Accumulators Directive: Implementation Workshop: 10 January 2007. (DOC)
In February 2003 the European Commission consulted Member States on a revision of the Batteries Directive.
In November 2003 the European Commission adopted a proposal for a new Directive on batteries and accumulators and spent batteries and accumulators - European Commission Proposal COM(2003) 723 final (PDF).
The main objectives of the proposal were to contribute to a high level of environmental protection and the proper functioning of the internal market, which the European Commission believes the existing Batteries Directives have failed to do.
The proposal, unlike existing Community legislation on batteries, applied to all batteries and accumulators, with the exception of those used for military applications, regardless of chemical composition, use or size. The existing Batteries Directives covered an estimated 7% of all portable batteries placed on the EU market annually, and have failed to provide a framework for battery collection and recycling. The Commission estimates that in 2002, 45.5% of all portable batteries sold in the EU went to final disposal, primarily in landfill where they pose the greatest environmental risk due to the hazardous substances contained in some batteries.
In May 2004 the Government consulted on the Commission's proposal on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and Council COM (2003) 723 final on batteries and accumulators and spent batteries and accumulators in order to inform its negotiating position. The archived Consultation Document can be found here (PDF).
3. Current legislation
4. Previous legislation
Statutory Instruments 2001 No. 2551 The Batteries and Accumulators (Containing Dangerous Substances) (Amendment) Regulations 2001. This Statutory Instrument makes technical changes to the Statutory Instrument 2000 No. 3097
Statutory Instruments 2000 No. 3097 The Batteries and Accumulators (Containing Dangerous Substances) (Amendment) Regulations 2000. This Statutory Instrument transposes Commission Directive 98/101/EC into UK law. Available from the Stationery Office web site.
Commission Decision 98/101/EC adapting 91/157/EEC to technical progress. This Decision reduces the permissible limit of mercury in all primary and secondary cells to 0.0005% and prohibits, from 1.1.2000 at the latest, the marketing of batteries not meeting this limit. It also prohibits, from the same date, the marketing of button cells containing more than 2% mercury by weight. (Ref. OJ L 001 05.01.1991 p.1)
Statutory Instrument 232 of 1994 The Batteries and Accumulators (Containing Dangerous Substances) Regulations 1994. The Batteries and Accumulators (Containing Dangerous Substances) Regulations 1994. This Statutory Instrument prohibits the sale of (most) alkaline batteries containing over 0.025% mercury, stipulates that all batteries covered by Directive 91/157/EEC carry the appropriate chemical symbol as well as the crossed out wheelie bin, and sets down design requirements for certain battery-powered equipment.
Commission Directive 93/86/EEC Labelling of batteries and accumulators containing certain dangerous substances. Specifies which symbol batteries should carry, viz. a crossed-out wheelie bin, as well as the appropriate chemical symbol. (Ref. OJ L 264 23.10.1993 p.51)
Council Directive 91/157/EEC Batteries and Accumulators Containing Certain Dangerous substances. This specifies that batteries containing mercury, cadmium or lead should be collected separately when spent and should carry an identifying label. The Directive also sets permissible heavy metal limits, and requires certain battery-powered equipment to be designed in such a way as to make their batteries easily removable. (Ref. OJ L 078 26.03.1991 p.38)
Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS)
1 Victoria Street
London, SW1H 0ET
Tel: 020 7215 1330
Producer Responsibility Unit
Waste Management Division
London, SW1P 2AL
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