Understanding the Batteries Regulation

Understanding the Batteries Regulation

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Understanding the Batteries Regulation

Batteries' development and production are strategic priorities for Europe in the shift towards clean energy. They are also key components in the European automotive industry. The global demand for batteries is increasing rapidly and is predicted to have a 14-fold increase by the year 2030. To minimise the environmental impacts of this growth and considering changes in society, new technological developments, markets and the uses of batteries, the European Commission proposed a new Batteries Regulation in 2020.

The Regulation entered into force on 17 August 2023 and repeals the Batteries Directive (Directive 2006/66/EC). It continues to restrict the use of mercury and cadmium in batteries and introduces a restriction for lead in portable batteries.

It also aims to:

  1. strengthen the internal market by ensuring a level playing field through a common set of rules;
  2. promote a circular economy;
  3. reduce environmental and social impacts throughout the entire battery life cycle.

Restricting hazardous substances in batteries

Article 6 of the Regulation sets out the framework to restrict hazardous substances in batteries. This ensures that substances used in batteries or present in waste batteries do not pose an unacceptable risk to human health or the environment.

By 31 December 2027, the Commission will present a report to the European Parliament and Council identifying the substances in batteries that have a negative impact on human health, the environment or recycling processes.

The Commission can also request ECHA to prepare a restriction proposal in accordance with Annex XV to REACH.

An EU Member State can also put forward a restriction proposal.

Batteries regulation timeline graph