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New battery regulations another step towards a more sustainable society

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Issued 21 Aug 2008

New Regulations that set the framework for businesses wishing to put batteries on the UK market from 26 September 2008 were published today after being made by Department for Business Minister, Malcolm Wicks.

The Batteries and Accumulators (Placing on the Market) Regulations 2008 set out the technical requirements with which producers of batteries, and battery-powered appliances, must comply from 26 September 2008.

The Regulations, which implement certain provisions of the EU Batteries and Accumulators Directive (2006/66/EC), aim to:

* Facilitate the free movement of compliant batteries across the EU;
* Protect the environment by reducing the levels of heavy metals they are allowed to contain; and
* Introduce a labelling regime in preparation for coming "producer responsibility" legislation designed to achieve high collection and recycling rates

The requirements include:

* Materials prohibitions - restrictions on the use of mercury and cadmium in the manufacture of batteries, unless they are to be used in specific exempt appliances, or in industrial applications, in the case of cadmium.

* Labelling - the application of the 'crossed out wheeled-bin' and the chemical symbols for lead, mercury or cadmium, where appropriate.

* Removability of waste batteries from certain appliances, which manufacturers will be required to design in such a way that waste batteries can be readily removed.

Energy Minister, Malcolm Wicks, said:

"Our Battery Regulations add to the measures that this Government has put in place to reduce the impact of waste products on the environment.

"They represent a big first step towards implementing the Batteries Directive as a whole and provide positive contribution to the workings of the Internal Market and provide a foundation for reducing the environmental impact of the many millions of portable, industrial and automotive batteries used in the UK each year."

The Regulations will apply to all batteries and accumulators - no matter their type or where they are manufactured, whether in the UK, the EU or imported from outside of the Community, and whether sold loose or incorporated into appliances.

The Regulations also set out the enforcement regime in the UK, which will ensure a level playing field for anyone placing batteries on the market. An enforcement authority is to be appointed by the Department for Business.

Batteries and accumulators that do not meet the new requirements should not be placed on the EU market on or after 26 September of this year.

Notes

1. The EU's Directive on Batteries and Accumulators and Waste Batteries and Accumulators (2006/66/EC) aims to reduce the environmental impact of portable, automotive and industrial batteries by increasing recycling and 'greening' the supply chain that produces and distributes them. It applies to all types of batteries regardless of shape, volume, weight, material composition or use, except for military applications and space applications.

2. Member States are required to transpose the Directive into national law by 26 September 2008. The Department for Business takes the lead on Internal Market provisions and also leads on policy relating to industrial and automotive batteries, while DEFRA leads on household batteries. Both departments have worked closely with colleagues in the Devolved Administration and continue to do so as policy is taken forward.

3. The laying of these Regulations is the first step towards implementation of the Batteries Directive and transposing the Internal Market provisions of the Directive - establishing the technical requirements for placing new batteries and accumulators or appliances that contain batteries on the market from 26 September 2008. http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/sis21-08

4. The Government recently published a written guidance document to assist those affected by the new requirements. It can be seen at: http://www.berr.gov.uk/sectors/sustainability/batteries/page30610.html

4. Also recently published was a consolidated response to the Consultation Document on the Implementation of the Batteries and Accumulators and Waste Batteries and Accumulators Directive (2006/66/EC) URN 07/1701: http://www.berr.gov.uk k/consultations/page43278.html

5. The Government will bring forward draft Regulations and a further consultation document in the autumn covering implementation of the remaining provisions of the Directive relating to the collection, treatment and recycling of waste batteries and accumulators.

6. The Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform helps UK business succeed in an increasingly competitive world. It promotes business growth and a strong enterprise economy, leads the better regulation agenda and champions free and fair markets. It is the shareholder in a number of Government-owned assets and it works to secure, clean and competitively priced energy supplies.

Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform
7th Floor, 1 Victoria Street, London SW1H 0ET

Public enquiries +44 (0)20 7215 5000
Textphone +44 (0)20 7215 6740 (for those with hearing impairment)
http://www.berr.gov.uk


About the Author

Crown Copyright. Material taken from the BERR- Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform replacing DTI - Department for Trade and Industry. Reproduced under the terms and conditions of the Click-Use Licence.


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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2008-08-22 16:21:13 in Business Articles

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