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New EU Draft Battery Regulation

SafeGuardSProduct SafetyMay 19, 2021

The EU has proposed a new draft battery regulation which will be applicable to all batteries. In this article the changes for portable batteries are explained.

The EU’s draft battery regulation and its Annexes applies to all batteries, namely portable batteries, automotive batteries, electric vehicle batteries and industrial batteries. The regulation lays down sustainability, safety and labeling requirements to allow batteries to be placed on the market and put into service, as well as for the collection, treatment and recycling of waste batteries.

 The new battery regulation places new requirements on the sustainability and safety of electric vehicle batteries and rechargeable industrial batteries, including carbon footprint, content of recycled raw materials (cobalt, lead, lithium and nickel), electrochemical performance and durability, QR code, battery passport, etc. It is intended to replace the Batteries Directive (2006/66/EC).

 Please find below some highlights of the proposed requirements for portable batteries:

  • Definition: ‘portable batteries of general use’ means portable batteries with the following common formats: 4.5 Volts (3R12), D, C, AA, AAA, AAAA, A23, 9 Volts (PP3)
  • The CE mark will apply to all batteries and needs to be displayed on the battery or its packaging
  • CE Marking directive requirements will apply, this includes:
    • Verification of compliance will be based on (to be) harmonized standards,
    • A Technical Documentation File is needed
    • A Declaration of Conformity needs to be created
    • The name and address manufacturer and importer must be displayed
  • Chemical requirements on mercury and cadmium remain
  • New requirements for electrochemical performance and durability:
    • From January 1, 2027: compliance to electrochemical performance and durability requirements
    • By December 31, 2025: the European Commission (EC) will define the minimum values for electrochemical performance and durability in Annex III
    • By December 31, 2030 the EC will publish measures to phase out non rechargeable portable batteries for general use
  • Portable batteries should be removable and replaceable during appliance lifetime (if to be replaced, and battery has a shorter lifetime than the appliance)
  • New labeling requirements:
    • From January 1, 2027 new labeling requirements in annex VI (including requirements on capacity and minimum average duration)
    • From January 1, 2023 the requirement for a QR code providing the following information: general information about batteries, “separate collection symbol”, Pb info, declaration of conformity, end of life information for consumers
  • Producers must be registered in a register established by EU Member States
  • Producers, or organizations on their behalf, are responsible for the collection, reuse and recycling of batteries at the end of their life. This includes targets (%) which will be monitored by EU Member States

The regulation will come into force on January 1, 2022, Directive 2006/66/EC should be repealed as of 1-7-2023.

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