The text of the new European Battery Regulation (the Regulation) has now been formally approved by both the European Parliament (14 June) and the Council of the EU (10 July) (see our previous publication). The Regulation will target the entire life cycle of batteries, from their production, their reuse, and recycling to guarantee the safety, sustainability, and competitiveness of batteries. The framework will ensure sustainability through the supply chain of batteries, as well as promote the competitiveness of the Union industry and provide rules for end-of-life batteries to be properly collected and recycled in order to enable the recovery of useful materials and prevent the release of harmful substances into the environment. The Regulation will also repeal the currently applicable Batteries Directive.
Below, we review the key elements of the Regulation and its practical implications on the supply chain of batteries.
Covered products: The Regulation will cover all batteries and raw materials used for batteries:
- Batteries: waste portable batteries; electric vehicle batteries; industrial batteries; starting, lightning, and ignition (SLI) batteries (used mostly for vehicles and machinery); and batteries for light means of transport (LMT), such as e-bikes, e-mopeds and e-scooters
- Raw materials used for batteries: cobalt; natural graphite; lithium; nickel; and chemical compounds based on the raw materials listed which are necessary for the manufacturing of the active materials of batteries
Economic operators: Economic operators who must comply with the Regulation are manufacturers, their authorized representatives, importers, distributors, and fulfilment service providers, as well as any other natural or legal person in relation to the manufacture of batteries, the preparation for their reuse, repurposing (or preparation for), remanufacturing, and making them available or placing them on the EU market, including online, or putting them in service.
Covered activities: The Regulation targets the following activities: (i) placing of batteries in the EU market, which means any first supply of batteries for distribution or use on the EU market in the course of commercial activity, and (ii) putting into service, meaning the first use, for intended purpose, in the EU, a battery, without having been placed on the market previously.