Did you know that the Council of the EU passed a new Regulation on batteries?
On 17 August 2023, the Council of the EU’s new Regulation on batteries came into effect. It has replaced the batteries Directive of 2006 and completes the legislation that was already in place. It regulates the entire life cycle of batteries from their production to their reuse and their recycling. It also applies to all batteries, which includes waste portable batteries, electric vehicle batteries, industrial batteries, starting, lighting and ignition (SLI) batteries and batteries for light means of transportation. Though it is now into effect, Member States will only apply penalties if it is infringed from 18 August 2025.
With this Regulation, the Council of the EU also sets a few targets that aim to promote the Circular Economy.
- Collection of waste portable batteries by producers: 63% by the end of 2027 and 73% by the end of 2030. Collection goal for waste batteries for light means of transport: 51% by the end of 2028 and 61% by the end of 2031.
- Target for lithium recovery from waste batteries: 50% by the end of 2027 and 80% by the end of 2031. This target can be amended through delegated acts depending on market and technological developments and the availability of lithium.
- Mandatory minimum levels of recycled content for industrial, SLI batteries and EV batteries: 16% for cobalt, 85% for lead, 6% for lithium and 6% for nickel. Batteries will now include documentation on their recycled content.
- Target for the recycling efficiency for nickel-cadmium batteries: 80% by the end of 2025 and 50% by the end 2025 for other waste batteries.
- By 2027, portable batteries in appliances should be removable and replaceable by the end-user. The operators have until then to adapt the design of their products.
Why is this new Regulation important?
- There has been a massive development of electric mobility which means the demand for batteries is supposed to grow more by 2030.
- The Regulation extends producer responsibility. Indeed, it is up to the producers to make sure the batteries respect these new rules or risk penalties.
- The Regulation surpasses all other global legislation on the matter. It is not only broader in scope but is also more comprehensive. Indeed, it requires a joint effort from the entire value chain: manufacturers, producers, importers and distributors of all types of batteries within the EU market will need to make significant changes on the way they label, manage the end-of-life and the supply chain of batteries.
FEAD welcomes the new Regulation as it encourages the recycling of waste batteries and includes measures that will improve the circularity of the sector.