Moving forward in the world of batteries: introducing Regulation (EU) 2023/1542 on Batteries and Waste Batteries

As the demands and complexities for batteries evolve within the European Union (EU), so does the need for new regulation and guidance; enter Regulation (EU) 2023/1542. This regulation was introduced and approved by the European Council during July 2023. The regulation establishes numerous amendments that enhances the sustainability of the supply chain of all batteries placed onto the market within the European Union.

Key areas concerned:

This regulation stipulates the various requirements for batteries as well as waste batteries. The central areas of the regulation focus on the existing extended producer responsibility (EPR) system for batteries that had been laid out in previous legislations. The regulation re-establishes and gradually increases the necessary collection and treatment targets for batteries that were created in the ‘Directive 2006/66/EC’, while reaffirming the need for registration within the current existing EPR systems as well addressing various labelling requirements for the separate collection of batteries.

When this regulation is transposed into national law, producers will be required to establish and maintain a register of producers. This application will require the following information that includes but is not limited to: (i) the name (and brand name or trademark if applicable), (ii) the address of the producer, (iii) the national identification code of the producer and (iv) the categories of batteries that the producer intends to make available on the market within the territory of the member state.

This registration process reaffirms the current EPR system that is laid out.

A significant feature of this regulation is that this will mean the revocation of the current Directive 2006/66/EC that stipulates the requirements for batteries and waste batteries. This Directive laid the groundwork for establishing a set of consistent rules that focused on ensuring collection schemes were in place, the need for creating necessary collection targets, and how best to handle and dispose of waste batteries. This new European Union Regulation will replace the 2006 Directive from the 18th of August 2025.

What’s in focus?

This regulation, when it enters into force, will apply to all categories of batteries. This will specifically include the following categories stipulated in the Regulation: (i) portable, (ii) starting, lighting and ignition (SLI batteries), (iii) light means of transport (LMT batteries), (iv) electric vehicle batteries and (v) industrial batteries.

It is worth noting that this regulation will apply to batteries irrespective of their shape, volume, weight, design, their chemical composition, their intended use, or whether they are incorporated into appliances, products, or if they are supplied together or separately from a product.

Transposing this European Union Regulation into national law:

As this is an European Union Regulation, Member States will be required to transpose this regulation into national legislation. Germany is paving the way through the creation of a draft law entitled ‘Battery Law Implementation Act’ otherwise entitled the ‘BattDG’. This new piece of legislation will align and keep pace with the new requirements of this European Union Regulation and will replace the current battery regulations ‘Batterie G’ when it enters into force next year.

This newly introduced regulation will re-address the need for manufacturers of batteries or where necessary, their authorised representative to register, join a producer responsibility organisation (PRO), and ensure the collection of various types of batteries.

What distinguishes this new regulation from the current one is the expansion to include a clearer category of batteries. Instead of the previous three main types of batteries that are outlined in the BatterieG that included portable, vehicle and industrial batteries, this will now extend to align with the European Union’s regulation five categories of batteries listed above.

Regarding the collection of used batteries, owners of these batteries must ensure the separate disposal of these batteries from unsorted municipal waste. This does not apply to used batteries that are incorporated into other products, the Electrical and Electronic Equipment Act or the End-of Life Vehicles Ordinance. For waste portable batteries and waste batteries for light means of transport (waste LV batteries), these shall be collected exclusively through collection points that are connected with the Producer Responsibility Organisations. In the case of starter and industrial waste batteries, these will be collected exclusively through dealers, public waste disposal authorities and through selected waste managers.

As we progress in a bid to manage batteries and waste batteries, it is now up to the rest of the Member States to follow in Germany’s wake and transpose this Directive into their national law.

The rapid rate at which EPR regulations are evolving can be frustrating for businesses that seek to make sense of how they might be affected by a potential law. Ecoveritas has and will continue to keep track of and interpret EPR regulations, along with other environmental law impacting packaging, textiles, electricals, batteries, and wider sectors. Our exclusive Global EPR Matrix offers a unique insight into EPR laws that should educate you about your business’s obligations.

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