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Commission Services document - not legally binding The document is, by nature, a work in progress, which means that it will be regularly updated and supplemented so as to take into account any further needs and questions arising. Last updated in March 2011. QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
BATTERIES DIRECTIVE (2006/66/EC)
A NEW BATTERIES DIRECTIVE - A NEW SCOPE . 4 Why did we need a new Directive on batteries? . 4 What is the scope of the Batteries Directive 2006/66/EC? . 4 Why does Directive 2006/66/EC apply to all batteries and not just to What does the Directive aim to achieve? . 5 What environmental problems does the Directive address? . 5 How are these environmental problems addressed? . 5 What is the problem concerning the single European market? . 6 How does the Directive address this market problem? . 6 What are the preventive measures in the Directive? . 6 What are the requirements for collecting batteries? . 7 What are the proposed collection targets for portable batteries? . 8 How are the proposed collection targets for portable batteries monitored?. 8 Why is there no collection target for industrial and automotive batteries?. 8 What examples are there of energy saved by using recycled metals in What recycling requirements are laid down in the Directive? . 9 What recycling efficiency levels are laid down in the Directive? . 9 Does the Directive lay down any requirements for treatment of waste 2.5. Financing and producer responsibility . 10 Who will pay for the collection, treatment and recycling of batteries? . 10 Commission Services document - not legally binding The document is, by nature, a work in progress, which means that it will be regularly updated and supplemented so as to take into account any further needs and questions arising. Last updated in March 2011. What is the difference between ‘third parties’ and ‘third parties acting on What is the definition of ‘battery producer’? . 10 Who is the ‘battery producer’? - Examples . 10 How does the Batteries Directive deal with small producers? . 11 How does the Batteries Directive deal with the ‘free rider’ problem? . 12 What labelling requirements apply to batteries? . 12 How should batteries be marked with a chemical symbol? . 13 What capacity labelling rules apply to portable and automotive batteries? . 13 In the absence of harmonised EU rules on capacity labelling for portable non-rechargeable batteries, can national labels be used? . 14 How will end-users know what to do with waste batteries? . 14 Who is responsible for informing the public? . 15 2.7. Removing batteries from appliances . 15 What does the Directive say about making sure that waste batteries can be What is the scope of Article 11 of the Batteries Directive (2006/66/EC)? . 15 When should waste batteries and accumulators be removable from Can EU Member States apply the ‘removability’ requirement to products other than electrical or electronic equipment (EEE) as defined in the WEEE Directive? . 15 What requirements must be met if batteries are exported for recycling?. 16 When do EU Member States have to transpose the requirements of this What EU legislation must battery manufacturers or producers comply with, and what changed on 26 September 2008? . 16 Can the Directive be transposed on the basis of environmental agreements What is the deadline for achieving collection targets for portable batteries? . 17 When do the recycling requirements come into force? . 17 Are national governments encouraged to use financial incentives to Are national governments obliged to report on the implementation of the Commission Services document - not legally binding The document is, by nature, a work in progress, which means that it will be regularly updated and supplemented so as to take into account any further needs and questions arising. Last updated in March 2011. 3. SUMMARY OF THE MEASURES IN THE DIRECTIVE ACCORDING TO What are the different types of batteries?. 17 Do batteries used for agricultural purposes qualify as industrial batteries? . 18 Are batteries used in hybrid vehicles (vehicles that run on a combination of fuel and electricity) automotive or industrial batteries? . 18 Can button cells qualify as industrial batteries? . 19 Which batteries are the most harmful? . 19 What specific rules apply to portable batteries and accumulators? . 19 What specific rules apply to industrial batteries? . 19 What specific rules apply to automotive batteries? . 20 LINK WITH OTHER PIECES OF LEGISLATION . 20 What is the relationship between the Batteries Directive and the ELV What is the relationship between the Batteries Directive and the RoHS Which Directive applies to the outer casings of battery packs? Is it the What is the relationship between the Batteries Directive and the WEEE Do the requirements set out in Article 11 of the Batteries Directive apply to batteries incorporated in infected medical devices? . 23 Do the requirements set out in Article 11 of the Batteries Directive apply to batteries incorporated in toys and musical post cards? . 24 What is the relationship between the Batteries Directive and the Integrated What is the relationship between the Batteries Directive and the Thematic Strategy on Sustainable use of Resources? . 25 What is the relationship between the Batteries Directive and the Thematic Strategy on the prevention and recycling of waste? . 25 Commission Services document - not legally binding The document is, by nature, a work in progress, which means that it will be regularly updated and supplemented so as to take into account any further needs and questions arising. Last updated in March 2011. A NEW BATTERIES DIRECTIVE - A NEW SCOPE
Why did we need a new Directive on batteries? Previous EU legislation on batteries (Directive 91/157/EEC) failed to adequately address the risks posed by waste batteries and to create a uniform system for collecting and recycling batteries. For example, in 2002, more than 45 % of all portable batteries sold in the EU (i.e. 72 155 tonnes) went for landfilling or incineration.1 Waste batteries collected were disposed of in this way instead of being recycled.2 Moreover, the EU needed a uniform system for collecting and recycling batteries, and in particular for financing these operations, to avoid ‘free-riders’ on the market and to create a level playing field for everyone involved. What is the scope of the Batteries Directive 2006/66/EC?3
The Directive applies to all batteries and accumulators placed on the European Union market, unless they are fitted to equipment used to protect essential national security interests. (This exemption is laid down in Article 2(3) of the WEEE Directive4 and Article 2(2)(a) of the Batteries Directive). Equipment designed to be sent into space is also exempted. Why does Directive 2006/66/EC apply to all batteries and not just to hazardous ones? Directive 2006/66/EC applies to all batteries because: – all batteries contain substances which are harmful to the environment; – experience with the previous Directive (91/157/EEC) on hazardous batteries (i.e. those containing mercury, cadmium or lead)5 showed that ‘all battery’ collection schemes are more efficient than separate schemes for certain types of portable batteries;6 – all batteries contain metals which are recyclable,7 so collecting and recycling all batteries help save resources, as required by Article 191 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. 1 Extended Impact Assessment by the European Commission SEC(2003)1343, p.11.
2 Extended Impact Assessment by the European Commission SEC(2003)1343, p.12.
3 OJ L 266, 26.9.2006, p. 1. This Directive was last amended by Directive 2008/103/EC (OJ L 327, 5.12.2008,
4 Directive 2002/96/EC on waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). 5 Commission Decision 2000/532/EC. 6 Extended Impact Assessment by the European Commission SEC (2003)1343, p.19. 7 Extended Impact Assessment by the European Commission SEC (2003)1343, p.20. Commission Services document - not legally binding The document is, by nature, a work in progress, which means that it will be regularly updated and supplemented so as to take into account any further needs and questions arising. Last updated in March 2011. CONTENT OF DIRECTIVE 2006/66/EC
Objective
What does the Directive aim to achieve? 2. To help ensure that the single European market functions properly. What environmental problems8 does the Directive address? Treatment of waste batteries and accumulators raises several environmental concerns, mostly due to the metals they contain. Mercury, lead and cadmium are by far the most problematic of these substances. In Commission Decision 2000/532/EC, lead batteries, Ni-Cd batteries and batteries containing mercury are all classified as hazardous waste. Other metals commonly used in batteries, such as zinc, copper, manganese, lithium and nickel, may also constitute environmental hazards. When batteries are incinerated, the metals they contain pollute the atmosphere and the incineration residues. When batteries end up in landfills, the metals can leach into the soil and water. Moreover, batteries are a useful source of secondary raw materials. Thousands of tonnes of metals, including valuable metals such as nickel, cobalt and silver, can be recovered if batteries are properly recycled – and contribute to the EU's resource efficiency. How are these environmental problems addressed? By making it compulsory to collect and recycle batteries and accumulators, the Directive aims to prevent these items from being incinerated or dumped in landfills. The Directive also contains restrictions on the substances used in batteries and accumulators. – restrictions on the use of mercury in all batteries, and a restriction on the use of cadmium in portable batteries with certain exemptions (Article 4); – collection requirements for all batteries and collection targets for portable batteries – the requirement that all batteries and accumulators collected must be properly treated and recycled (with possible exemptions for portable hazardous batteries) (Article 12); 8 Extended Impact Assessment by the European Commission SEC (2003)1343, p.6. Commission Services document - not legally binding The document is, by nature, a work in progress, which means that it will be regularly updated and supplemented so as to take into account any further needs and questions arising. Last updated in March 2011. – a ban on landfilling or incinerating batteries from vehicles and industrial equipment (known as ‘automotive and industrial’ batteries) (Article 14); – the requirement that battery recycling processes must meet minimum levels of efficiency What is the problem concerning the single European market? Many national schemes for collecting and recycling batteries do not operate efficiently and were not designed to be part of the single European market. Without a clear EU framework for operating these schemes, different EU Member States have had different marketing requirements and have applied the ‘producer responsibility principle’ in different ways. How does the Directive address this market problem? The Directive harmonises product requirements for batteries as follows: – it restricts the use of mercury in all batteries and the use of cadmium in portable batteries, – it requires that batteries be labelled with: (i) the chemical symbols Hg, Pb or Cd, (ii) a crossed-out wheel bin and (iii) a capacity label (Article 21). The Directive states that, if batteries meet these requirements, they can be marketed in any EU country (Article 6(1)). In addition, the Directive lays down minimum rules for operating national collection and recycling schemes, and in particular rules on how producers must finance these schemes (Article 16). To avoid ‘free-riders’, each EU Member State should keep a register of producers who place batteries on the national market (Article 17). Preventive measures
What are the preventive measures in the Directive? The Directive restricts the use of mercury in all batteries (Article 4(1)(a)). Furthermore, the Directive restricts the use of cadmium in portable batteries. It gives a list of exemptions (e.g. batteries intended for use in emergency and alarm systems, including emergency lighting, medical devices or cordless power tools) (Articles 4(1)(b) and 4(3)). In addition, EU Member States are required to promote research and encourage improvements in the environmental performance of batteries through their life-cycle, and encourage the marketing of batteries which contain less polluting substances (in particular substitutes for mercury, cadmium and lead) (Article 5). Commission Services document - not legally binding
The document is, by nature, a work in progress, which means that it will be regularly updated and supplemented so as to take into
account any further needs and questions arising. Last updated in March 2011.
2.3.
Collection
What are the requirements for collecting batteries? The Batteries Directive aims to ensure that as many waste batteries and accumulators (portable, industrial and automotive) as possible are collected. To achieve this it lays down the following requirements. Consumers should be able to return waste batteries to accessible collection points in their neighbourhood, free of charge and without any obligation to buy a new battery. (Articles 8(1)(a) and 8(1)(c)); Distributors should take back waste batteries when supplying new ones (unless the existing alternative schemes are proven to be environmentally effective) (Article 8(1)(b)); EU Member States are obliged to set up battery collection schemes but they may use existing schemes and/or have those schemes run by the battery producers and/or by other economic operators. Economic operators other than producers may be required to participate in the schemes but not to set them up. Only producers can set up schemes unless the Member State decides to keep ‘existing schemes’ (Article 8(2)). With regard to waste industrial batteries: EU Member States are obliged to set up battery collection schemes but they may have those schemes run by battery producers or by third parties acting on their behalf. National governments must ensure that ‘independent third parties’ (e.g. private companies) may also collect waste industrial batteries. Producers, or third parties acting on their behalf, are obliged to take waste industrial batteries back from consumers (the ‘end-users’) (Article 8(3)). With regard to waste automotive batteries: EU Member States are obliged to set up battery collection schemes but they may have those schemes run by the battery producers or by third parties. In this case, a ‘third party’ can be anybody who is not a producer (e.g. a local authority, an association or an independent economic operator). Producers or third parties must set up schemes for collecting waste automotive batteries which are not collected via schemes set up under the End-of-Life Vehicles (ELV) Directive.9 People returning waste automotive batteries from non-commercial vehicles (such as private cars) should not be charged for doing so, nor should they be obliged to buy a new battery (Article 8(4)). Commission Services document - not legally binding The document is, by nature, a work in progress, which means that it will be regularly updated and supplemented so as to take into account any further needs and questions arising. Last updated in March 2011. What are the proposed collection targets for portable batteries? The overall target set by the Batteries Directive is that 25 % of all waste portable batteries should be collected by 2012 and 45 % by 2016 (Article 10(2)). How are the proposed collection targets for portable batteries monitored? The European Commission has taken a Decision (2008/763/EC)10 on the method to be used to
calculate annual sales of portable batteries to end-users. EU Member States must base their
calculations on the quantities (weight) of portable batteries placed on the market in a given
year, excluding batteries exported to other EU countries (Article 10(4)).
The placing of each battery on the market must be counted only once. This information is used to monitor the portable battery collection rates, in accordance with Article 10(2) and Annex I of the Directive. Each EU Member State must report to the Commission once a year on the collection rate it has achieved that year. The report must state how the authorities obtained the data used to calculate the collection rate. Why is there no collection target for industrial and automotive batteries? Producers, or third parties acting on their behalf (for industrial batteries) / third parties (for automotive batteries) are obliged to take waste batteries back from end-users (Articles 8(3) and 8(4)). This obligation, combined with the ban on landfilling and incineration (Article 14), should be enough to ensure that batteries are collected. The use of financial incentives (Article 9) and the application of penalties for infringements (Article 25) aim to ensure that batteries are collected properly. Unlike waste portable batteries, waste industrial and automotive batteries are large, their users are professionals, and they are mainly collected by professionals, due to their economic value. As a result, nearly 100 % of industrial and automotive batteries are already being collected: – lead-acid batteries are collected because of the value of recycled lead; – nickel-cadmium batteries are collected because there is a well-developed collection system Recycling
Battery recycling helps to save resources by allowing valuable metals such as nickel, cobalt and silver to be recovered.11 10 OJ L 262, 1.10.2008, p. 39.
11 Extended Impact Assessment by the European Commission SEC (2003)1343, p.13. Commission Services document - not legally binding The document is, by nature, a work in progress, which means that it will be regularly updated and supplemented so as to take into account any further needs and questions arising. Last updated in March 2011. The use of recycled metals in batteries requires less energy consumption.12 What examples are there of energy saved by using recycled metals in batteries? Using recycled cadmium and nickel requires 46 % and 75 % less primary energy than extracting and refining virgin metals. For zinc, recycling takes only about a quarter of the energy needed to extract the metal from its ore. The ratio is around 2.2 to 8.13 What recycling requirements are laid down in the Directive? All batteries collected should be recycled (Article 12(1)(b)). However, when disposing of waste portable batteries containing mercury, cadmium or lead, EU Member States may put them in landfills or underground storage (Article 12(1), second paragraph): – if this is part of a national strategy to phase out heavy metals and an impact assessment shows that landfill/underground storage is a better option than recycling; or – if no viable end-market is available. In addition, the Directive specifies recycling efficiency levels, focusing on the quality of the recycling process (Annex III, Part B). These should be distinguished from the levels of recycling, which focus on the quantity of waste batteries sent to recycling instead of disposal. What recycling efficiency levels are laid down in the Directive? Battery recycling processes must meet the following levels of efficiency by September 2011 (Article 12(4) and Annex III, Part B): – Lead-acid batteries: recycle lead as far as technically feasible, and recycle a minimum of – Nickel-cadmium batteries: recycle cadmium as far as technically feasible, and recycle a minimum of 75 % of batteries by average weight; – Other batteries: recycle a minimum of 50 % of batteries by average weight. An EU ‘committee procedure’ will be used to harmonise the rules on calculating recycling efficiency (Article 12(6)(a)). Does the Directive lay down any requirements for treatment of waste batteries? In addition to levels of recycling efficiency, the Directive specifies how waste batteries are to be treated. The minimum requirement is that fluids and acids must be removed. The Directive 12 Extended Impact Assessment by the European Commission SEC (2003)1343, p.13. 13 Extended Impact Assessment by the European Commission SEC (2003)1343, p.13. Commission Services document - not legally binding The document is, by nature, a work in progress, which means that it will be regularly updated and supplemented so as to take into account any further needs and questions arising. Last updated in March 2011. also describes the conditions under which waste batteries must be treated and stored (Article 12(2) and Annex III, Part A). Financing and producer responsibility
Who will pay for the collection, treatment and recycling of batteries? – In line with the ‘producer responsibility principle’, battery producers, or third parties acting on their behalf, must finance the net cost of collecting, treating and recycling collected waste batteries (Article 16(1)). – Producers and users of industrial and automotive batteries may agree together on alternative financial arrangements (Article 16(5)). – Producers, or third parties acting on their behalf, are also responsible for financing the costs of public information campaigns on collecting, treating and recycling waste portable batteries (Article 16(3)). – Some batteries are collected under both Directive 2000/53/EC on end-of life vehicles and Directive 2002/96/EC on waste electrical and electronic equipment. In such cases, EU Member States must make sure that producers are not charged twice for the same operation (Article 16(2)). What is the difference between ‘third parties’ and ‘third parties acting on behalf of producers’? Under Article 16 of the Directive, a third party acting on behalf of a producer must pay for the collection, treatment and recycling of waste batteries and accumulators. Other third parties are not subject to this obligation. For example, a ‘third party’ that is not a producer and does not act ‘on behalf of’ a producer may collect automotive batteries. However, this third party is not responsible for financing the collection and treatment of waste automotive batteries. What is the definition of ‘battery producer’? According to the definition given in Article 3 of the Directive, the ‘producer’ is the person in an EU Member State who supplies or makes available to a third party batteries or accumulators (including those incorporated into appliances or vehicles) within the territory of that Member State for the first time on a professional basis. This definition applies regardless of the selling technique used and irrespective of whether the batteries are supplied in return for payment or free of charge. A ‘battery producer’ may also be a person who imports batteries into the customs territory of the European Union. Who is the ‘battery producer’? - Examples A battery manufacturer or importer in an EU Member State sells batteries to a retailer who in turn sells them to customers (‘end-users’) in that Member State Commission Services document - not legally binding The document is, by nature, a work in progress, which means that it will be regularly updated and supplemented so as to take into account any further needs and questions arising. Last updated in March 2011. In this case, the battery manufacturer or the importer is the ‘producer’ in that Member State, as they are placing the batteries on the market for the first time in that Member State. − A retailer sells batteries in a particular EU Member State, but he bought those batteries in In this case, as the retailer is placing these batteries on the market in this EU Member State for the first time, the retailer is the ‘producer’. − An equipment/car manufacturer in a particular EU Member State buys batteries from a battery manufacturer or importer in that Member State. These batteries are then put into equipment/cars which are sold in the same Member State. In this case, the battery manufacturer or importer is the ‘producer’ in this Member State as he is selling to the equipment/car manufacturer and thus placing the batteries on the market in that country for the first time. An equipment/car manufacturer or importer in a particular EU Member State buys batteries in a different country. He incorporates these batteries into equipment/a car which he then sells in his home country. In this case, the ‘battery producer’ in this Member State is the equipment/car manufacturer or importer himself, since it is he who places the batteries on that market for the first time. − A company imports batteries from a non-EU parent company for its independent subsidiary located in an EU Member State In this case, the independent European subsidiary is the ‘producer’, as it is the subsidiary which places the batteries on the market in that Member State for the first time. Batteries or battery cells are sold in an EU Member State to a battery pack assembler and are then sold within the same Member State. In this case the battery pack assembler is the ‘producer’, as he makes the battery pack available on the market in that country for the first time on a professional basis. − A battery manufacturer in a particular EU Member State sells batteries to a private label owner in that Member State. These batteries are then sold in the same Member State (under the label of the private owner and not under the label of the battery manufacturer). In this case, the private label owner is the ‘producer’, as he places the batteries on the market in that country for the first time. How does the Batteries Directive deal with small producers? The Batteries Directive allows EU Member States to exempt producers which, relative to the size of the national market, place very small quantities of batteries or accumulators on the national market from the financial obligations (Article 16(1)) of ‘producer responsibility’, provided this does not prevent the battery collection and recycling schemes from working properly (Article 18(1)). Under the Batteries Directive, an EU ‘committee procedure’ also harmonises the way producers are registered in EU Member States, thus reducing the administrative burden of registration (Article 17). Commission Services document - not legally binding The document is, by nature, a work in progress, which means that it will be regularly updated and supplemented so as to take into account any further needs and questions arising. Last updated in March 2011. How does the Batteries Directive deal with the ‘free rider’ problem? The ‘free rider’ problem means that battery producers are able to reap the benefits of the
Batteries Directive’s requirements ‘for free’, i.e. without paying for the collection, treatment
and recycling of batteries. To prevent this, each EU Member State should keep a national
register of all battery producers/importers to ensure proper implementation of their financial
and organisational responsibilities. The registration procedure is harmonised by Commission
Decision 2009/603/EC14 and requires producers to provide the following information:
- Their name and the brand names (if any) under which they operate in that country (‘Brand name’ means the name under which a batteries producer operates in a given EU Member State. This is the name used by battery producers to identify themselves as individual businesses, i.e. their legal entities in an EU Member State). - Their address(es): post code and location, street name and number, country, internet address, telephone number, name of a contact person, fax number and e-mail address, if any; - The type of batteries they place on the market - whether portable, industrial or automotive. The brand names of the batteries are not required, nor does the producer have to register each battery type separately. - Information on how they meet their responsibilities - whether via an individual or a - The date on which they are applying for registration. - Their national identification code, possibly including their European or national tax - A declaration stating that the information provided is true. Labels/End-user information
What labelling requirements apply to batteries? – Crossed-out wheeled bin applies to all batteries (Article 21(1)). – Chemical symbols (Hg, Cd, Pb) apply to batteries which contain more than a given amount of these metals (0. 0005 % mercury, 0. 002 % cadmium and 0. 004 % lead) (Article 21(3)). – A capacity label must be placed on portable rechargeable and automotive batteries from 31 May 201215 (Article 21(2)).
14 OJ L 206, 8.8.2009, p. 13.
15 See footnote 16.
Commission Services document - not legally binding The document is, by nature, a work in progress, which means that it will be regularly updated and supplemented so as to take into account any further needs and questions arising. Last updated in March 2011. How should batteries be marked with a chemical symbol? Two types of label are required for batteries and accumulators. One is the picture of a crossed-out wheeled bin (Annex II); the other is the crossed-out wheeled bin accompanied by a chemical symbol (Article 21(3)). The crossed-out wheeled bin means that batteries should not be thrown away together with other wastes – they should be collected separately. All batteries, accumulators and battery packs must be labelled with the crossed-out wheeled bin (Article 21(1)). In addition, batteries, accumulators and button cells which contain more than the above-mentioned amounts of mercury, cadmium or lead must be labelled with a chemical symbol (Hg, Cd or Pb). In other words, the chemical symbol always accompanies the crossed-out wheeled bin, never as a stand-alone label. If the battery or accumulator is so small that the required symbol (crossed-out wheeled bin or crossed-out wheeled bin accompanied by the chemical symbol) would measure less than 0.5 x 0.5 cm, the following special rules apply: – if the battery or accumulator is sold separately, the symbol (measuring at least 1 x 1 cm) – if the battery is incorporated into electrical and electronic equipment (EEE), the symbol must be printed on the packaging of the EEE; – if the battery is incorporated into EEE which does not have any packaging, the Directive What capacity labelling rules apply to portable and automotive batteries? Article 21(2) of the Batteries Directive requires that all portable (rechargeable and non-rechargeable) and automotive batteries and accumulators carry a capacity label. The purpose of this label is to provide useful, easily understandable and comparable information to consumers purchasing different batteries and accumulators. There are detailed rules for implementing this requirement regarding portable rechargeable
and automotive batteries and accumulators. The rules include harmonised methods for
determining the capacity and appropriate use of such batteries and accumulators. A
Commission Regulation setting out these rules has been published in the Official Journal of
the EU16 and on the DG Environment website17. It came into force on 30 November 2010 and
will apply to portable rechargeable and automotive batteries and accumulators placed on the
market for the first time 18 months after this date, i.e. from 31 May 2012.
Capacity labelling for portable non-rechargeable batteries proved more complex than expected, because the delivered capacity of such batteries very much depends on the pattern 16 Commission Regulation (EU) No 1103/2010 of 29 November 2010 establishing, pursuant to Directive
2006/66/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, rules as regards capacity labelling of portable secondary (rechargeable and automotive batteries and accumulators (OJ L 313, 30.11.2010, p. 3). 17 http://ec.europa.eu/environment/waste/batteries/index.htm.
Commission Services document - not legally binding
The document is, by nature, a work in progress, which means that it will be regularly updated and supplemented so as to take into
account any further needs and questions arising. Last updated in March 2011.
of use of the equipment which they power.18 An additional study19 was therefore carried out
on batteries of this kind, followed by several consultations with national authorities and
stakeholders. This research showed the great difficulty in designing a label that is informative
enough (about how battery capacity varies with use) and that can also be easily understood by
consumers in the short time they take to make their purchasing decision.
It has so far proved impossible to design a single, simple, meaningful and workable capacity label for portable non-rechargeable batteries. The Commission, EU Member States and stakeholders continue to assess the issue. Once their assessment has been completed, rules for labelling batteries of this type will be drawn up, if appropriate. In the absence of harmonised EU rules on capacity labelling for portable non-rechargeable batteries, can national labels be used? According to Article 21(1) of the Batteries Directive, capacity labelling should have been in place by 26 September 2009. However, the EU has not yet been able to draw up harmonised rules on how to implement this requirement. Until these rules are in place, Member States are not obliged to introduce or require the use of capacity labels, and battery producers are not obliged to place capacity labels on portable non-rechargeable batteries — unless required under national law. Any national labelling requirements will apply only until harmonised EU requirements are in place. Meanwhile, EU Member States must notify the Commission of any new technical implementing measure(s), in accordance with Directive 98/34/EC for standardisation and technical regulations.20 How will end-users know what to do with waste batteries? Article 20(1) of the Batteries Directive obliges the authorities of EU Member States to ensure that consumers are told: – about the potential environmental and health effects of substances used in batteries; – not to put batteries in with other waste but to keep them separate; – about the collection and recycling schemes they can use; – what they can do to help recycle waste batteries; 18 Final report by BIO Intelligence (2008):
http://ec.europa.eu/environment/waste/batteries/pdf/battery_report.pdf; Executive summary: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/waste/batteries/pdf/battery_summary.pdf; ‘Summary of recommendations’ table: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/waste/batteries/pdf/summary%20table_ter.pdf. 19 Final report by BIO Intelligence (2010):
http://ec.europa.eu/environment/waste/batteries/pdf/battery_report_june2010.pdf. 20 Directive 98/34/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 June 1998, laying down a procedure
for the provision of information in the field of technical standards and regulations and of rules on Information Society services (OJ L 204, 21.07.1998, p. 37), as amended by Directive 98/48/EC (OJ L 217, 5.08.1998, p.18). Commission Services document - not legally binding The document is, by nature, a work in progress, which means that it will be regularly updated and supplemented so as to take into account any further needs and questions arising. Last updated in March 2011. Who is responsible for informing the public? National authorities must ensure that the public is informed. Battery producers are responsible for financing public information campaigns on the collection, treatment and recycling of waste portable batteries (Article 16(3). Other ‘economic operators’ (such as shops selling electronic goods) may be required to provide consumers with information on the issues mentioned in the previous answer (Article 20(2)). Removing batteries from appliances
What does the Directive say about making sure that waste batteries can be removed from appliances? Article 11 of the Batteries Directive requires that ‘manufacturers design appliances in such a way that waste batteries and accumulators can be readily removed’ and that ‘appliances into which batteries and accumulators are incorporated shall be accompanied by (i.e. supplied together with) instructions showing how they can be removed safely’. Exempt from these requirements are appliances which need a continuous power supply to ensure their safety or performance, or for medical or data integrity reasons, and which must therefore remain permanently connected to the battery or accumulator. What is the scope of Article 11 of the Batteries Directive (2006/66/EC)? Article 11 applies only to electrical or electronic equipment (EEE), as defined by Article 3(11) of the Batteries Directive (2006/66/EC) and the WEEE Directive (2002/96/EC). Non-EEE products containing batteries or accumulators do not need to meet the requirements of Article 11 concerning the removal of waste batteries and accumulators. However, even if waste batteries and accumulators cannot easily be removed, Member States must still ensure that they are properly collected. Portable batteries and accumulators, including those incorporated into appliances, should be reported as specified in Article 10(3) of the Batteries Directive. When should waste batteries and accumulators be removable from appliances? Waste batteries should be removable from appliances during the lifetime of the appliance if
the batteries have a shorter lifetime than the appliance, or at the latest at the end of the life of
the appliance.21
Can EU Member States apply the ‘removability’ requirement to products other than electrical or electronic equipment (EEE) as defined in the WEEE Directive? Article 193 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union allows Member States to adopt stricter measures than those laid down in EU law, provided they are compatible with the EU’s internal market rules, competition rules, etc. and are notified to the Commission in 21 The removability requirement of Article 6(1) and Annex II of the WEEE Directive (2002/96/EC) applies.
Commission Services document - not legally binding
The document is, by nature, a work in progress, which means that it will be regularly updated and supplemented so as to take into
account any further needs and questions arising. Last updated in March 2011.
accordance with Directive 98/34/EC.22 Consequently, the government of an EU Member State
can, if it wishes, adopt national ‘removability’ rules which are stricter than those laid down in
the Batteries Directive, as long as they pursue the same objectives.
Exporting waste batteries
What requirements must be met if batteries are exported for recycling? Article 15 of the Batteries Directive states that, when waste batteries and accumulators are exported for recycling, whether inside or outside the European Union, they must comply with the waste shipment laws specified in Regulation No 259/93. However, since this Regulation was repealed on 12 July 2007, the transfer of waste batteries must now comply with Regulation No 1013/2006 on shipments of waste.23 When waste batteries are exported outside the European Union, Member States must require sound evidence that the recycling takes place under conditions equivalent to those set out in Batteries Directive, including recycling efficiencies. The procedural requirements for exporting waste batteries will be harmonised via an EU ‘committee procedure’. Implementing the Directive
When do EU Member States have to transpose the requirements of this Directive? EU Member States had to transpose the requirements of this Directive into their national legislation by 26 September 2008. What EU legislation must battery manufacturers or producers comply with, and what changed on 26 September 2008? Until 25 September 2008, battery manufacturers/producers had to comply with national legislation transposing Directive 91/157/EEC. Since 26 September 2008 they have had to comply with national legislation transposing Directive 2006/66/EC. Can the Directive be transposed on the basis of environmental agreements with industry? Yes. EU Member State governments can sign environmental agreements with economic operators on collecting and exporting waste batteries and on providing information for consumers. 22 Directive 98/34/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 June 1998, laying down a procedure
for the provision of information in the field of technical standards and regulations and of rules on Information Society services (OJ L 204, 21.07.1998, p. 37), as amended by Directive 98/48/EC (OJ L 217, 5.08.1998, p.18). 23 Especially Article 49 of that Regulation. Commission Services document - not legally binding The document is, by nature, a work in progress, which means that it will be regularly updated and supplemented so as to take into account any further needs and questions arising. Last updated in March 2011. What is the deadline for achieving collection targets for portable batteries? The 25 % collection target for portable batteries must be met by 26 September 2012. Experience in EU Member States with well-developed collection schemes shows that such schemes take four or five years to become efficient. This gives countries with underdeveloped collection schemes sufficient time to make them efficient. The higher collection target of 45 % should be achieved by 26 September 2016. When do the recycling requirements come into force? – By 26 September 2009, all batteries collected should be recycled (under certain circumstances EU Member States can landfill or store portable hazardous batteries). – By 26 September 2011, the efficiency of battery recycling processes must be at least 65 % for lead-acid batteries, 75 % for nickel-cadmium batteries and 50 % for other batteries. Lead and cadmium must be recycled to the highest degree that is technically feasible without incurring excessive costs. Are national governments encouraged to use financial incentives to implement the Directive? Yes. The Directive specifies that EU Member States can use ‘economic instruments’ to promote the collection of waste batteries and the use of batteries containing less polluting substances. Are national governments obliged to report on the implementation of the Directive? Yes. The Directive specifies that EU Member States must report regularly to the European
Commission, using the questionnaire set out in Commission Decision 2009/851/EC.24 The
first report should cover the four-year period from 26 September 2008 to 26 September 2012.
Subsequent reports should cover periods of three years, i.e. from 26 September 2012 to
26 September 2015, from 26 September 2015 to 26 September 2018, and so on.
Member States must send their reports to the Commission no later than nine months after the end of the period concerned. For the first report, the deadline is 26 June 2013. SUMMARY OF THE MEASURES IN THE DIRECTIVE ACCORDING TO BATTERY TYPE
What are the different types of batteries? The Directive distinguishes between three battery types: portable, industrial and automotive batteries. 24 OJ L, 312, 27.11.2009, p. 56.
Commission Services document - not legally binding The document is, by nature, a work in progress, which means that it will be regularly updated and supplemented so as to take into account any further needs and questions arising. Last updated in March 2011. Portable batteries are batteries that are sealed, can be hand-carried and are neither industrial nor automotive batteries. – non-rechargeable batteries (e.g. zinc-carbon and alkaline-manganese ‘general purpose batteries’), button cells, and lithium-oxide batteries; together these represent around 75 % of all portable batteries in the EU;25 – rechargeable batteries (e.g. nickel-cadmium, nickel metal hydride, lithium-ion and lead-acid batteries), which make up the other 25 % of portable batteries in the EU. Industrial batteries are batteries that are designed for exclusively industrial or professional uses or used in any type of electric vehicles. Industrial batteries in the EU comprise:26 These are batteries used for vehicle starting, lighting and ignition systems. Do batteries used for agricultural purposes qualify as industrial batteries? According to Article 3 of the Directive, industrial batteries are ‘batteries designed for exclusively industrial or professional uses or used in any kind of electric vehicle’. If the agricultural equipment concerned is designed for exclusively professional agricultural use, its battery is an industrial battery. Are batteries used in hybrid vehicles (vehicles that run on a combination of fuel and electricity) automotive or industrial batteries? Hybrid vehicles have two types of battery. The first is generally a 12 V (usually lead-acid) battery used as an automotive starter for lighting and for ignition power. This is classified as an automotive battery. The second type is a Lithium ion or a Nickel Metal Hydride battery, used mainly for propulsion purposes and as a warm starter. As this battery does not have the function of an automotive battery it does not fall under the definition of automotive batteries. It is used in a 25 Bio Intelligence Final report of July 2003, p. 8. 26 Extended Impact Assessment by the European Commission SEC (2003) 1343, p.65. Commission Services document - not legally binding The document is, by nature, a work in progress, which means that it will be regularly updated and supplemented so as to take into account any further needs and questions arising. Last updated in March 2011. car that is partly powered by electricity, so it is used in some type of electric vehicle. It therefore qualifies as an industrial battery. Can button cells qualify as industrial batteries? No. The definitions set out in Article 3 of the Directive make it clear that a ‘button cell’ is a small round portable battery used (for example) in hearing aids, watches and other small portable equipment. Consequently, a ‘button cell’ is portable and not industrial. Batteries that look like button cells but designed exclusively for industrial or professional uses or used in any type of electric vehicle are not classified as button cells. Which batteries are the most harmful? According to the list in Commission Decision 2000/532/EC, lead batteries, mercury-containing batteries and nickel-cadmium batteries are classified as hazardous waste. What specific rules apply to portable batteries and accumulators? – The use of cadmium is restricted (except in batteries intended for use in emergency and alarm systems, including emergency lighting, and in medical equipment and cordless power tools). – Efficient national collection systems must be set up to allow consumers to return waste batteries free of charge in their neighbourhood. Distributors are obliged to take back waste batteries. – A collection target of 25 % must be achieved by 26 September 2012 (45 % by – All batteries collected must be recycled, unless the country has a strategy to phase out heavy metals, or no viable end-market is available in that country. In that case, the national authorities are allowed to landfill or store hazardous portable batteries. – Recycling processes must achieve a minimum efficiency of 65 % for lead-acid batteries, 75 % for nickel-cadmium batteries and 50 % for other batteries. EU countries must recycle as much lead and cadmium as possible. – Batteries must be readily removable from appliances, and all appliances containing batteries must be accompanied by instructions showing how the batteries can be safely removed (there are exemptions for some types of equipment). – Batteries must be labelled with a crossed-out wheeled bin and a capacity label. Those containing more than a given amount of mercury, cadmium or lead must also be labelled with the appropriate chemical symbol. What specific rules apply to industrial batteries? Commission Services document - not legally binding The document is, by nature, a work in progress, which means that it will be regularly updated and supplemented so as to take into account any further needs and questions arising. Last updated in March 2011. – Battery producers or third parties acting on their behalf cannot refuse to take back waste – All collected batteries must be recycled. – Batteries cannot be disposed of in landfills or by incineration. – Recycling processes must achieve a minimum efficiency of 65 % for lead-acid batteries, 75 % for nickel-cadmium batteries and 50 % for other batteries. EU countries must recycle as much lead and cadmium as possible. – Batteries must be readily removable from appliances, and all appliances containing batteries must be accompanied by instructions showing how the batteries can be safely removed. (There are exemptions for some types of equipment). – Batteries must be labelled with a crossed-out wheeled bin. Those containing more than a given amount of mercury, cadmium or lead must also be labelled with the appropriate chemical symbol. What specific rules apply to automotive batteries? – Producers or third parties must set up collection schemes for waste batteries that are not collected under schemes set up under the ELV Directive. – All batteries collected must be recycled. – Batteries cannot be disposed of in landfills or by incineration. – Recycling processes must achieve a minimum efficiency of 65 % for lead-acid batteries, 75 % for nickel-cadmium batteries and 50 % for other batteries. EU countries must recycle as much lead and cadmium as possible. – Batteries must be readily removable from appliances, and all appliances containing batteries must be accompanied by instructions showing how the batteries can be safely removed (there are exemptions for some types of equipment). – Batteries must be labelled with a crossed-out wheeled bin and a capacity label. Those containing more than a given amount of mercury, cadmium or lead must also be labelled with the appropriate chemical symbol. LINK WITH OTHER PIECES OF LEGISLATION
What is the relationship between the Batteries Directive and the ELV Directive? Directive 2000/53/EC on ‘End-of Life Vehicles’ (the ELV Directive) covers certain categories of vehicles, including their components, such as batteries. The Batteries Directive Commission Services document - not legally binding The document is, by nature, a work in progress, which means that it will be regularly updated and supplemented so as to take into account any further needs and questions arising. Last updated in March 2011. has a much wider scope: it applies to all batteries, including automotive batteries, placed on the European Union market. The Batteries Directive applies to all batteries and accumulators placed on the EU market, ‘without prejudice’ to the ELV Directive (Article 2(1)). This means that batteries and accumulators used in vehicles covered by the ELV Directive fall within the scope of the Batteries Directive, unless there are specific requirements in the ELV Directive which apply to batteries and accumulators used in vehicles covered by the ELV Directive (see an example below on substance restrictions). Both the ELV and the Batteries Directive contain substance restrictions. Article 4 of the Batteries Directive lays down restrictions on the use of mercury and cadmium, and it states that these restrictions apply ‘without prejudice’ to the ELV Directive. In other words, the prohibitions contained in Article 4 of the Batteries Directive do not apply to batteries only covered by the ELV Directive. The ELV Directive restricts the use of mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium and lead in cars. However it allows a maximum concentration of mercury of up to 0.1 % by weight and per homogenous material. An exemption for the use of cadmium in batteries for electric vehicles expired on 31 December 2008, and another exemption for lead in batteries as spare parts for electric cars placed on the market before 31 December 2008.27 The Batteries Directive and the ELV Directive both establish the principle of ‘producer responsibility’. Under the Batteries Directive, a car producer is also regarded as a ‘battery producer’ in a EU Member State if he/she places the battery on the market (inside the car) for the first time in that country on a professional basis. The purpose of this rule is to ensure that there is a producer responsible for all batteries placed on the market. However, the Batteries Directive states that EU Member States should avoid double charging of producers when car batteries are also collected under the ELV Directive. Collection schemes must be set up for automotive batteries and accumulators that are not
covered by ELV Directive collection schemes — for example, batteries removed from the
vehicle during its ‘use-phase’. The ELV collection schemes apply only to batteries and
accumulators that are collected together with the vehicle during its ‘end-of-life phase’, i.e.
when the vehicle is scrapped.28
Article 11 of the Batteries Directive applies to batteries and accumulators in electrical and electronic equipment. Consequently, it does not apply to automotive batteries in vehicles. 27 Annex II to Directive 2000/53/EC.
28 Annex I to Directive 2000/53/EC.
Commission Services document - not legally binding The document is, by nature, a work in progress, which means that it will be regularly updated and supplemented so as to take into account any further needs and questions arising. Last updated in March 2011. However, if there is a detachable appliance in the vehicle that runs on batteries which are not automotive, they fall under the Article 11 requirements. Both Directives stipulate different requirements for battery treatment and recycling/re-use/recovery. – The Batteries Directive specifies that the recycling process should comply with the requirements laid down in Annex III to that Directive. – The ELV Directive requires that automotive batteries be at least removed from end-of-life The recycling of automotive batteries counts towards achieving the targets of the ELV Directive. Specific rules for calculating these targets are laid down in Commission Decision 2005/293/EC.29 The recycling of automotive batteries must comply with the recycling efficiencies specified in Annex III to the Batteries Directive. The Batteries Directive requires EU Member States to ensure that consumers (‘end-users’) are informed of the substances used in batteries and are told what the battery labels mean. End-users must also be told why it is beneficial to collect batteries separately from other waste. They must be informed of the collection and recycling schemes they can use and how they as consumers can help recycle waste batteries. The ELV Directive, on the other hand, requires economic operators to provide information about how vehicles and their components are designed to be recoverable and recyclable. Consumers must also be of appropriate treatment facilities, ways to reuse, recycle or recover ELV and their components, and about the progress achieved in this respect. What is the relationship between the Batteries Directive and the RoHS30 Directive? Recital 29 of the Batteries Directive states that the RoHS Directive does not apply to batteries and accumulators used in electrical and electronic equipment. The Batteries Directive and the RoHS Directive have similar but different substance restrictions. The RoHS Directive restricts the use of heavy metals, such as mercury and cadmium, in electrical and electronic equipment but it does not apply to batteries.31 The Batteries Directive restricts the use of mercury and cadmium in batteries. 29 Commission Decision 2005/293/EC laying down detailed rules on the monitoring of the reuse/recovery and
reuse/recycling targets set out in Directive 2000/53/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on end-of-life vehicles (OJ L 94, 13.4.2005, p. 30). 30 Directive 2002/95/EC on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic 31 Recital (29) of Directive 2006/66/EC. Commission Services document - not legally binding The document is, by nature, a work in progress, which means that it will be regularly updated and supplemented so as to take into account any further needs and questions arising. Last updated in March 2011. Which Directive applies to the outer casings of battery packs? Is it the RoHS or the Batteries Directive? According to the Batteries Directive, battery packs are also batteries, so the Batteries Directive applies to battery packs, including their outer casings. What is the relationship between the Batteries Directive and the WEEE32 Directive? The Batteries Directive applies to all batteries and accumulators placed on the EU market, ‘without prejudice’ to the WEEE Directive (Article 2(1)). This means that batteries and accumulators used in both electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) and non-EEE products could fall within the scope of the Batteries Directive and could also be covered by the provisions of the WEEE Directive, if the batteries are part of the EEE when it becomes waste. Batteries and accumulators incorporated in waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) can be collected on the basis of the WEEE Directive. However, after collection, they must be removed from the appliance (electronic equipment) and they count towards the collection targets laid down in the Batteries Directive. These batteries and accumulators must be recycled as required by the Batteries Directive. Under the Batteries Directive, a producer of electrical and electronic equipment (an ‘appliance producer’) is also regarded as a battery producer in a given EU Member State if the appliance producer places the battery (inside an appliance) on the market in that Member State for the first time on a professional basis. The aim is to ensure that there is a producer responsible for all batteries placed on the market. However, EU Member States must avoid charging producers twice when batteries are collected with appliances under the WEEE Directive. Do the requirements set out in Article 11 of the Batteries Directive apply to batteries incorporated in infected medical devices? The requirements set out in Article 11 do not apply to infected medical devices because they
are not considered as ‘appliances’, e.g. they are not considered as electrical and electronic
equipment (EEE) for the purposes of the WEEE Directive (see Annex IA33).
Infected products are understood to be products that have come into contact with blood or
other biological contaminants before reaching the end-of-life stage.34 Precautionary principle
32 Directive 2002/96/EC on waste electrical and electronic equipment. 33 See Annex IA of WEEE Directive at:
http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:32002L0096:EN:NOT . 34 See FAQ on WEEE Directive at: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/waste/weee/pdf/faq_weee.pdf.
Commission Services document - not legally binding The document is, by nature, a work in progress, which means that it will be regularly updated and supplemented so as to take into account any further needs and questions arising. Last updated in March 2011. considerations and other exemptions under Article 11, such as the continuity of power supply, will apply here. However, batteries in medical devices must meet the product requirements (substance ban, labelling and removability) set out in Directive 2006/66/EC. These requirements apply to batteries and accumulators regardless of whether they are placed on the market individually or incorporated in equipment. If the batteries are separate from the medical devices in question, they need to be collected in accordance with Directive 2006/66/EC. If the batteries are inside an infected medical device which has reached the end of its life, neither the Batteries Directive (2006/66/EC) nor the WEEE Directive (2002/96/EC) apply to the collection of the device. Do the requirements set out in Article 11 of the Batteries Directive apply to batteries incorporated in toys and musical post cards? – If the batteries are incorporated into electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) as defined by the WEEE Directive, this equipment will be considered as ‘appliances’ within the meaning of Article 3(11) of the Batteries Directive. In this case, the waste batteries need to be readily removable. – Where legislation lays down more specific rules on how to remove the batteries from specific products (e.g. toys), these products must comply with those specific rules. – In any case, Member States must ensure that the waste batteries are properly collected What is the relationship between the Batteries Directive and the Integrated Product Policy (IPP)? 35 The aim of the IPP is to reduce the environmental impact of products throughout their life-cycle, using (where possible) a market-driven approach that takes account of competitiveness concerns. In line with the IPP, the Batteries Directive requires EU Member States to promote research and to encourage improvements in the environmental performance of batteries throughout their life-cycle. In addition, Member States must encourage treatment facilities to introduce an eco-management and audit system (EMAS) to help reduce the life-cycle environmental impacts of batteries. 35 Commission Communication on Integrated Product Policy (COM(2003) 302). Commission Services document - not legally binding The document is, by nature, a work in progress, which means that it will be regularly updated and supplemented so as to take into account any further needs and questions arising. Last updated in March 2011. What is the relationship between the Batteries Directive and the Thematic Strategy on Sustainable use of Resources?36 The recycling requirements for batteries avoid the negative impacts of natural resource use. This is in line with the Thematic Strategy. What is the relationship between the Batteries Directive and the Thematic Strategy on the prevention and recycling of waste?37 The Strategy recognises that putting waste back into the economic cycle is an important part of a comprehensive approach to resource management. Moreover, the battery recycling efficiency targets, which aim to improve the quality of the recycling process, are also in line with this Strategy.

Source: http://eesringlus.ee/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/QA-on-batteries-directive1.pdf

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