EU Publishes New Batteries Regulation with New Chemical, Sustainability, and EPR Requirements

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August 16, 20233E Global Research TeamBlog

On 28 July 2023 the European Official Journal published a new Batteries and Waste Batteries Regulation (EU) 2023/1542. The text, consisting of 117 pages, introduces new requirements for the entire life cycle of all batteries sold on the EU market and clarifies the extended producer responsibility (EPR) scheme.

While the new regulation will come into force on 17 August 2023, it will start to effectively apply six months later (18 February 2024), with various transitional periods. Also, starting 18 August 2025, it will repeal the current Batteries Directive 2006/66/EC.

3E Review

While carrying over some of the existing battery requirements, the regulation also introduces new obligations, mainly to regulate the battery sector in an environmentally sound manner.

Battery Types

The text provides for a new battery classification covering new or emerging types of batteries. Thus, batteries are now divided into the following five categories:

  • Portable batteries
  • Starting, lighting, and ignition batteries (SLI batteries)
  • Light means of transport batteries (LMT batteries)
  • Electric vehicle batteries
  • Industrial batteries

Restriction on Hazardous Chemicals

While the new regulation maintains the current restrictions on mercury and cadmium, it also regulates the presence of lead. The following restrictions are laid down in Annex I:

  • Mercury: 0.0005%
  • Cadmium: 0.002%
  • Lead: 0.01% (from 18 August 2024, from 18 August 2028 for portable zinc-air button cells)

In the future, the restrictions may be completed with other substances of concern, namely from the REACH Candidate SVHCs List and the Harmonized Classification and Labeling List (Annex VI to the CLP Regulation (EC) No. 1272/200). In the future, batteries should comply with the eventual REACH Annex XVII, as Article 86 establishes a procedure for the European Commission to initiate such battery-specific REACH restrictions.

Labeling and Consumer Information Requirements

The current requirements to indicate the presence of cadmium (>0.002%) or lead (>0.004%), separate collection (crossed bin) symbol, and prepare a Declaration of Conformity (DoC) are maintained. However, batteries should be labeled with the CE-mark before being placed on the EU market. Also, starting 18 August 2026, new labeling requirements will apply, as all batteries should be labeled with general information as indicated in Annex VI, Part A (including place of manufacturing, presence of other hazardous substances, extinguishing agent, and critical raw materials >0.1%). Certain batteries should also bear information on capacity and, for non-rechargeable batteries, information on minimum average duration and indication of their non-rechargeable nature.

Also, starting 18 August 2027, batteries should bear a QR code giving access to certain information. Starting 18 February 2027, the QR code should also give access to the Battery Passport designed to display certain information (from Annex XIII) for LMT, industrial (capacity >2 kWh), and electric vehicle batteries.

Starting 18 August 2024, stationary energy storage systems, LMT, and electric vehicle batteries should provide information on the state of health and expected lifetime parameters (Annex VII) through the battery management system.

Sustainability Requirements

  • Carbon Footprint
    Batteries will be subject to carbon footprint obligations, including carbon footprint declaration, carbon footprint labeling (with relevant classes), and maximum carbon footprint requirements. Calculation details are given in Annex II. More details will be developed by the European Commission and then will start gradually applying for the different types of batteries from 2025 to 2033.
  • Recycled Content
    Starting 18 August 2028, the presence of cobalt, lead, lithium, or nickel from recovered origin shall be indicated in a document for industrial batteries (with a capacity greater than 2 kWh), electric vehicle batteries, and SLI batteries. The requirement will apply for LMT batteries from 18 August 2033.

In addition, starting 18 August 2031, these batteries will be required to contain a certain percentage of the above substances, and then in 2036, the content will be increased to ensure that more recycled raw materials are used for battery production.

  • Performance and Durability
    Starting 18 August 2024, certain batteries shall be accompanied by a document indicating electrochemical performance and durability as laid down in Annexes III and IV. Later, in 2027 and 2028, mandatory minimum values will be introduced by the European Commission.

Due Diligence

Starting 18 August 2025, the largest companies (with annual turnover >40 million euro) should implement due diligence policies that should be verified by an external (notified) body. The policy should consider certain raw materials and social and environmental risks laid down in Annex X. The due diligence requirement ensures that operators take necessary steps to identify, prevent, mitigate, and address adverse impacts associated with their activities or sourcing decisions.

Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Scheme

While the current Batteries Directive subjects batteries to EPR requirements, the new regulation further details the EPR rules, namely by requiring producers to be registered in a special register. Operators should ensure the collection or take-back of batteries. In this regard, the following waste batteries collection targets are established:


              Battery Type               

                Target by End of Year

       Waste portable battery








              LMT battery





In addition, recycling and material recovery targets (laid down in Annex XII) have to be achieved respectively by the end of 2025 and 2026 and then replaced with even more ambitious ones respectively for 2030 and 2031. 

3E Analysis 

The new Batteries Regulation will progressively start applying between 2024 and 2033. Economic operators are advised to refer to its text, as it may impact their activity. They are also advised to stay abreast of any future additional details, as the European Commission is expected to adopt delegated or implementing acts to lay down further requirements.

While the new rules may lead to additional financial cost for companies, in the long term they are expected to lead to better battery management, responsible sourcing, better consumer protection, and increased environmental protection at the EU level, contributing thus to the EU objectives for Zero Pollution. In addition, the new battery requirements will be directly applicable in all EU member states, with no need for national transposition, eliminating thus national regulatory divergencies.