Batteries and Accumulators Directive
The new Batteries and Accumulators
Directive 2006/66/EC becomes effective on September 26, 2008, and applies
to battery packs, portable batteries, automotive and industrial batteries.
Highlights of the new Directive:
1. Revised restrictions on the use
of mercury and cadmium in batteries;
2. Labelling requirements for new batteries to aid consumer choice and
3. Revised labelling requirements for lead, mercury and cadmium content;
4. Collection rate targets for waste portable batteries;
5. Prohibition on landfill disposal or incineration of waste industrial
and automotive batteries;
6. Introduction of "producer responsibility" obligations;
7. Batteries must be removable from products (except where a permanent
connection to the battery is required for safety, performance, medical
or data integrity reasons);
8. From September 26, 2009, portable and automotive batteries shall be
labelled with their capacity. The EU Commission is developing the rules
for the capacity labelling system.
9. Producers (including those selling products which incorporate batteries
and accumulators) will have to register in each Member State.
1. All batteries or accumulators containing
more than 0.0005% of mercury by weight (with the exception of button cells
containing less than 2% of mercury content by weight);
2. All portable batteries or accumulators containing more than 0.002%
of cadmium by weight (with the exception of cordless power tools, medical
equipment, emergency lighting and emergency and alarm systems).
All batteries, accumulators, and button
cells shall be marked with a crossed wheelie bin symbol.
If they contain more than 0.0005%
mercury, or more than 0.002% cadmium or more than 0.004% lead, then the
chemical symbol for that particular metal shall be added beneath the crossed
wheelie bin symbol. The chemical symbol shall cover an area at least one-quarter
the size of the crossed wheelie bin symbol, as shown overleaf.
Separate chemical symbols are required
if the battery or accumulator contains more than one of these metals.
For example, a battery containing lead (Pb) exceeding 0.004% and mercury
(Hg) exceeding 0.0005%, shall be marked with both the Pb and Hg symbols.
- The symbol shall cover 3% of the
area of the largest side of the battery, accumulator or battery pack,
but shall be not be larger than 5 cm x 5 cm;
- For cylindrical cells, the symbol
shall cover 1.5% of the surface area of the battery or accumulator,
and shall be not be larger than 5 cm x 5 cm;
- If the symbol would be smaller
than 0.5 cm x 0.5 cm due to the size limitations, the battery, accumulator
or battery pack itself need not be marked, but the appropriate symbol(s)
measuring at least 1 x 1 cm shall be printed on the packaging;
- Symbols shall be visible, legible
1. The labelling thresholds for mercury
and cadmium match the regulatory limits. Hence the Hg symbol effectively
only applies to button cells and the Cd symbol only for those batteries
and accumulators covered by the exemption. Other types of batteries and
accumulators exceeding the mercury and/or cadmium limits are prohibited.
2. Batteries placed on the market
up to Sept 26, 2008 will be permitted for sale without a time limit. Batteries
placed on the market after that date shall comply with the new Directive.
3. Ni-Cd batteries will be prohibited
by the new cadmium limits (apart from the exempt uses), so nickel metal
hydride (NiMH) or lithium ion (Li-ion) batteries will have to be used
4. Consumers shall also be informed
of the potential effects of the substances, the appropriate disposal method,
the collection and recycling scheme details, and the meaning of the symbols.
For more information about product
safety, you may ask Intertek expert by filling in this enquiry