Changes in document codes after entering into force new dual-use Regulation 2021/821

Article

New Battery Directive and implications for the automotive sector

The Commission proposed a new EU Battery Regulation to replace the current one: the battery directive (2006/66/EC), which will amend Regulation (EU) No 2019/1020. The new Battery Directive will have implications for exports and importers of batteries and accumulators in the automotive industry.

Introduction

The Commission proposed a new EU Battery Regulation to replace the current one: the battery directive (2006/66/EC), which will amend Regulation (EU) No 2019/1020. The Commission aimed at 1 January 2022 for the Battery Regulation to enter into force. However, that seems not to be feasible. The new battery directive will have implications for exports and importers of batteries and accumulators in the automotive industry.

Novelties

In the proposal for the new EU Battery Regulation introduces – amongst others – the following novelties:

  • A battery passport: all batteries will need to have an electronic record from 2026. The passport will be linked to information about the battery.
    • Material recovery targets: when recycling batteries, recyclers must achieve minimum recycling efficiencies and levels of recovered materials. The minimum targets can be found in part B and C of Annex XII of the Battery Regulation.
  • Collection rate targets: Member States will have to achieve minimum targets for waste portable batteries. Waste batteries may only be exported out of the EU for recycling, in contrast to earlier battery directives when it was allowed to export waste batteries outside the EU.
  • A carbon footprint declaration: batteries and rechargeable industrial batteries must, in certain cases, be accompanied by technical documentation that includes a carbon footprint declaration. This declaration consist – amongst others – of information about the producer, battery, geographic location of the battery manufacturing facility, total carbon footprint.

All of these new requirements are bound by different dates. The new requirements also calls for effective control and enforcement mechanisms for export of waste batteries. This will be necessary to avoid illegal shipments of those batteries.  

Conclusion

The proposal will align with the EU green deal, but it also aims to address discrepancies on the internal market due to uneven rules and information. They want to create a level playing field. However, some Member States said at the consultation of 10 June 2021 that the current proposal is setting the deadlines too soon to implement them correctly. Other Member States are asking to speed up the deadlines and for even the authorization to apply even stricter rules. The impasse should be resolved before the Regulation enters into force, although the forecast for the Directive was to apply from 1 January 2022, it will not come into force from that date. In January and February of this year lawmakers will vote on the European Commission’s Proposal on batteries, the EU environment chief stated on 20 December 2021.

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