Legislative proposal for a regulation for batteries and used batteries – introduction to the issues

16. 5. 2023

In 2020, the European Union put forward a proposal to modernise EU battery regulations to cover the entire life cycle of products, from design to consumption up to recycling and reuse of new products. Until now, batteries have been regulated at European level by the 2006 Batteries Directive, which is, however, no longer up-to-date and does not take into account current trends and technological developments. An update of the legislative provisions is therefore necessary.

The demand for batteries is growing year on year, especially in the field of electric transport, which inevitably also leads to an increase in the demand for raw materials needed for battery production, such as cobalt or nickel, which will also have a significant impact on the environment. The demand for batteries also raises the issue of recycling, which is expected to increase by up to 700 times for lithium batteries, for example. The new regulation should bring clear rules for batteries, the demand for which is constantly increasing.

Closely linked to this regulation is “eco-modulation”. Eco-modulation is the obligation to regulate the financial means paid by the manufacturer of a reserved product to take account, in particular, of their durability, reparability, reusability, recyclability and the presence of hazardous substances, i.e. to be eco-modulated. The regulation will lead to stricter consideration of the sustainability, performance and durability of batteries.

Key changes included in the draft regulation:

  • battery breakdown (5 main battery groups and their subgroups)
  • changes to battery labelling
  • removability of batteries – the consumer will have the option to remove the battery and easily replace it with a new one
  • passport for batteries – the passport will contain information about the battery in question
  • recycling of used batteries
  • collection and collection targets for used batteries

The new draft legislation will have to be formally approved by the Parliament and the Council before it enters into force.

We will post further information on our website already on 31 May, where we will focus on the breakdown of batteries into different groups.

The text of the regulation approved by the Parliament can be found here.