Batteries Regulation (EU) 2023/1542

New Battery Regulation

The Official Journal of the European Union - OJEU, n. L 191, published the new Regulation (EU) 2023/1542, relating to batteries and battery waste, which takes effect from 18 February 2024.

Batteries are thus an important source of energy and one of the key enablers for sustainable development, green mobility, clean energy and climate neutrality. It is expected that the demand for batteries will grow rapidly in the coming years, notably for electric road transport vehicles and light means of transport using batteries for traction, making the market for batteries an increasingly strategic one at the global level.

It is essential to set out rules on the sustainability, performance, safety, collection, recycling and second life of batteries as well as on information about batteries for end-users and economic operators.

The new regulation should prevent and reduce the negative effects of batteries on the environment and ensure a safe and sustainable value chain for all batteries. The role of the stakeholders manufacturers, distributors and end-users should be aimed at improving the environmental performance of batteries.

Which batteries does the new regulation apply to?

The new regulation applies to all categories of batteries, namely:

    portable batteries;
    starting, lighting and ignition batteries (SLI batteries);
    light means of transport batteries (LMT batteries), electric vehicle batteries;
    rechargeable and non-rechargeable batteries;
    industrial batteries, regardless of their shape, volume, weight, design, material composition, chemistry, use or purpose. It shall also apply to batteries that are incorporated into or added to products.

What updates does the new regulation bring?

New labeling and CE marking of batteries

Batteries shall be labelled in order to provide end-users with transparent, reliable and clear information about batteries and waste batteries and to make informed decisions when buying and discarding batteries. For that purpose all the necessary information concerning their main characteristics is mandatory to be provided, including, for example:

    their capacity and the amount of certain hazardous substances present;
    the weight;
    the chemistry;
    usable extinguishing agent;
    CE marking,

and many more. The required labelling and marking is based on the battery type.

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Carbon Footprint Declaration

One of the novelties introduced by the regulation is the carbon footprint. The expected massive deployment of batteries in sectors like mobility and energy storage should reduce carbon emissions. However, to maximise that potential, it is necessary that their overall life cycle have a low carbon footprint. Therefore a carbon footprint declaration shall be drawn up for each battery model for electric vehicle batteries, rechargeable industrial batteries with a capacity greater than 2 kWh and LMT batteries that are placed on the Union market. Subsequently there will be established carbon footprint performance classesthat will enable batteries with lower overall carbon footprints to be identified.

Recycled content of cobalt, lead, lithium and nickel

The increased use of recovered raw materials would support the development of the circular economy and allow a more resource-efficient use of raw materials. Therefore, it is necessary to promote the recovery of such materials from waste, by establishing a requirement for the level of recycled content. For batteries, this is particularly relevant for recycled content of cobalt, lead, lithium and nickel in active materials, which will have an increased targets established by 2036.

Electrochemical performance and durability parameters

Batteries placed on the Union market should be durable and of high performance. It is therefore necessary to set out performance and durability parameters for portable batteries of general use as well as for rechargeable industrial batteries, LMT batteries and electric vehicle batteries.

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Removability and replaceability requirements

Provisions to ensure removability and replaceability of portable batteries that were incorporated into appliances are necessary in order to allow the separate collection, treatment and high quality recycling once those appliances become waste.

State of health and expected lifetime

From 18 August 2024 the state of health and expected lifetime of some categories of batteries shall be provided for the end-users at any time from the data stored in the battery management system.

Register of producers

In order to monitor fulfilment by producers of their obligations as regards the waste treatment of batteries made available on the market for the first time within the territory of a Member State, it is necessary that a register be established and managed by the competent authority in each Member State. Producers shall register, in order to provide the necessary information to allow the competent authorities to monitor fulfilment by producers of their obligations. The definition of producer was enlarged by the Regulation and it contains several natural or legal person categories.

Battery passport

In order to enhance transparency along supply and value chains for all stakeholders, it is necessary to provide for a battery passport that maximises the exchange of information, enables tracking and tracing of batteries of the applicable categories. The battery passport is part of one of the labelling and marking requirements and therefore it represents one of the obligations of the natural or legal person who places on the Union market the battery under its own name or trademark.

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