Proposal for EU regulation for batteries and waste batteries approved – removability of batteries

25. 7. 2023

On 14 June, Parliament approved new rules for the production and management of waste batteries. The text of the regulation approved by the Parliament can be found here.

The proposal for a regulation on batteries and waste batteries contains a number of important changes, one of which, from the point of view of both consumers and producers, is the easy replacement of batteries by the end user.

The portable battery should be easily and safely removable by the end user, with the ability to remove it with commercially available tools without the need to use specialized tools to remove the batteries. The exception to this would be a product where a specialised battery removal tool would be supplied in the packaging with the product.

Among portable batteries, 2 exceptions are defined where the battery can be designed to be removable and replaceable only by independent experts:

  • where the equipment is designed to operate in an environment that is regularly exposed to water or immersion in water, where it is necessary to ensure the safety of the user when replacing it,
  • in the case of professional medical imaging and radiotherapy equipment, and diagnostic medical devices.

42 months after the entry into force of the Regulation, a producer who places products containing portable batteries on the market must ensure that those batteries are easily removable and can be replaced by the end-user at any time during the lifetime of the product. These changes apply only to batteries as a whole, not to individual cells or parts of batteries.

SLI batteries and electric vehicle batteries that are part of motor vehicles should be removable and replaceable by independent experts.

The proposed regulation on batteries also changes the definition of remanufacturing.

Remanufacturing means any technical operation on a waste battery that includes the disassembly and evaluation of all its battery cells and modules and the use of a certain number of battery cells and modules that are new, used or recovered from waste, or other battery components, to restore the battery capacity to at least 90% of the original rated capacity, and where the state of health of all individual battery cells does not differ more than 3% between cells, and results in the battery being used for the same purpose or application as the one for which the battery was originally designed.

Next steps:

The European Council has formally approved the text of the Regulation and, once published in the Official Journal of the EU, it will enter into force 20 days after publication.

We will provide further information on the new rules contained in the proposal for a Batteries and Waste Batteries Regulation in due course.