FAQ on the EU battery regulation

Christopher McClure, Rebecca Miller, Whitney Baney
FAQ on the EU battery regulation

Our specialists discuss the new European Union (EU) battery regulation and answer six of your frequently asked questions.

The EU has implemented a sweeping new regulation that imposes significant obligations on manufacturers, importers, and distributors of batteries in the European market. The EU battery regulation was adopted June 14, 2023, and it replaces the current batteries legislation, EU Directive 2006/66/EC Battery Directive. The regulation seeks to protect human health and the environment by promoting a circular economy for the life cycle of batteries, from raw material extraction and mining to manufacturing, availability on the market, usage, collection and recycling, and disposal. It also includes rules on sustainability, safety, labeling, and marking.

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Which products and businesses are in scope?

All batteries placed on the EU market are in scope, even if they’re manufactured outside of the EU. The list includes portable batteries; electric vehicle batteries; industrial batteries; light means of transport (LMT) batteries; starting, lighting, and ignition batteries; and batteries that have already been incorporated into a product.

Economic operators that are in scope are defined by the regulation as importers, manufacturers, distributors, authorized representatives, fulfillment service providers, or others that place batteries or make them available on the EU market.

What does the new EU battery regulation require?

Economic operators must adopt a due diligence policy aligned with an internationally recognized standard, such as those from the United Nations, the International Labour Organization, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). It is important to keep in mind that a company might have already adopted one or more of these for other regulatory obligations. The policy should address social and environmental risks including human rights, human health and safety, water usage, soil protection, air pollution, climate change, and biodiversity.

Those in scope should have systems and verifications in place to identify and mitigate risks as well as plans to address any risks uncovered in their battery supply chain through the due diligence process. 

How do the rules affect labeling and marking?

The new regulation will also introduce an electronic record system – a battery passport – to provide transparency on batteries to the public and recyclers. The battery passport will include the battery’s: 

  • Carbon intensity 
  • Origin of materials  
  • Presence of renewable material 
  • Raw materials and hazardous substances 
  • Repair, repurposing, and dismantling  
  • Treatment, recycling, and recovery  

A QR code will be required to access the battery passport and will provide a unique identifier.

Economic operators will also be required to label batteries with a Conformité Européene (CE) marking. Batteries meeting the requirements of the regulation will need a CE marking to be affixed to them before being placed on the EU market. 

The new rule also requires economic operators to create an EU declaration of conformity for batteries that complies with the requirements of the regulation. If a battery is subject to more than one regulation in the EU, one declaration can be provided to cover all applicable regulations.

How does the EU battery regulation address safety?

The regulation places certain restrictions on the amount of mercury, cadmium, and lead used in batteries. Economic operators also should consider any restricted substances identified by Annex XVII under the REACH regulation (EC) 1907/2006. 

In addition, those in scope should implement due diligence policies for the raw materials used in battery manufacturing, such as cobalt, natural graphite, lithium, and nickel, that address their effect on social and environmental issues. 

Stationary battery energy storage systems are also covered under the new regulation, including assessments and testing to demonstrate safety of the stationary system and mitigation for possible hazards.

The rule also has performance and durability requirements, requirements to verify that batteries are readily removable and replaceable by end users, and extended producer responsibility on the management of waste batteries.

What are the consequences of noncompliance?

If an economic operator fails to meet the requirements of the new EU battery regulation, the member state will take action to restrict or withdraw the battery from the EU market. 

Find even more ESG-related information in our ESG resource center.

What are the next steps to compliance?

  • Determine your company’s role in the battery value chain (manufacturer, distributor, importer, or other), as some rules might or might not apply
  • Review the regulation’s effective dates for the obligations that affect your company
  • Plan to implement a due diligence program aligned to internationally recognized frameworks, such as the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises on Responsible Business Conduct and the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Business Conduct
  • Understand your company’s declaration of conformity and obligations for CE marking in the EU
  • Be aware of the member states in which your company places batteries and stay informed on any updates from those individual member states

As battery regulations continue to evolve globally, economic operators should keep an eye on new developments and identify any overlaps with current rules and regulations.

Contact our integrated ESG team

Navigating existing and new regulations can be a complex endeavor. Contact us today to learn how we can help you get and stay compliant.
Chris McClure
Christopher McClure
Partner, ESG Services Leader
Rebecca Miller
Rebecca Miller
Whitney Baney
Whitney Baney