Waste Batteries & Accumulators Regulations 2009

Important; The information in this leaflet is for guidance only. Whilst every care has been taken in the compilation of these notes, the Association can accept no liability for any event arising from their use.

The information detailed below relates only to Automotive and Industrial Batteries


The above Regulations came into force on the 5th May 2009 and relate to the collection and recycling of waste batteries and accumulators. The Regulations concern those who place portable, automotive and industrial batteries and accumulators – including those incorporated into appliances, machinery and vehicles – on to the U.K. market for the first time. This may include retailers, importers, distributors and manufacturers.

The information is covered in three Sections, as follows;

Section 1: Registration and reporting

Section 2: Collection/Recycling and Record Keeping

Section 3: Producer responsibility

Section 1

Registration The Regulations state that a Producer is “any person who places batteries including batteries incorporated into appliances and vehicles, on the market for the first time on a professional basis”. Producers must have a physical presence in the UK, such as an office, trading arm, etc. If you have no presence then you will not be able to register. Generally you will not have purchased the batteries from another UK supplier.

A Producer could be a; manufacturer, importer, distributor who imports, or vehicle manufacturer.

If you import electrical equipment or machinery which contains batteries then you could also be a producer.

As a Producer of automotive and industrial batteries you are required to register with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) from the 16th October 2009. You must register within 28 days of having first placed batteries on the market.

How to register

You register online through the National Packaging Waste Database (NPWD) on behalf of BIS. The web address is:-


This takes you to a page in the EA website where you are guided to the NPWB site. After you sign up you will receive from NPWD a login username, password and 6-digit PIN for your company to access your account on the NPWD system. You will need this to report your tonnage of batteries you have placed on the UK market in a compliance year, along with tonnage of waste batteries collected and tonnage sent to an Authorised Battery Treatment Operator (ABTO), or, exported by an Authorised Battery Exporter (ABE).

BIS do not charge to register with them through NPWD.

Compliance Year

Each compliance year ends on the 31st December. The first compliance year runs from the 5th May 2009 to the 31st December 2009. You are required to report your tonnage placed on the market on or before the 31st March each year, with the tonnage for the year end 31st December 2009 being the first year reported by the 31st March 2010. You are not required to report the tonnage collected or returned for recycling in the first year end 31st December .

Section 2.

Collection and Recycling

As a producer of industrial batteries you have to take back waste industrial batteries free of charge from end users. You must take back waste batteries when supplying new batteries; if you have placed that type of battery on the market in the past three years; if an end user can’t return waste batteries to the original producer.

You must send all waste batteries to an approved treatment and recycling centre within the UK. Or use an approved battery exporter for treatment abroad.

As a producer of automotive batteries you must be prepared to take back, waste automotive batteries free of charge, on request, from final holders, such as garages, scrap yards, ELV centres or civic amenity centres. You are not required to collect waste automotive batteries from an end user but must allow him to return them to you.

All waste automotive batteries collected must be sent to an approved treatment and recycling centre in the UK, or to an approved battery exporter who will send them for treatment or recycling abroad.

Record Keeping

Producers of Industrial and Automotive batteries must keep written records of;

  • the total amount of batteries in tonnes they place on the market each year they are registered as a producer (for 2009 you must keep records of the tonnage you placed on the market from 5th May)
  • the amount of batteries in tonnes you placed on the market in tonnes for each chemistry
  • the total amount in tonnes of waste batteries that you collected and arranged for recycling
  • the total amount of batteries you collected by each chemistry

You must keep these records for at least four years.

For each year that you are a producer of automotive or industrial batteries you must send an annual report to BIS including;

  • the total amount of waste batteries in tonnes collected and which you have sent to a approved treatment facility
  • the type of battery and by the three chemistry types ie. nickel cadmium, lead acid, other.

You will be asked to volunteer an estimate of the tonnage, if any, of the industrial or automotive batteries that you have declared you placed on the market, but which you believe will leave the UK market before use and will be unlikely end up as was waste here. The provision of this estimate is optional.

Note; If you are a distributor who imports then you are only required to report the tonnage that you imported for placing on the UK market, not the tonnage you purchased from another UK supplier.

Section 3.

Producer responsibility

The producer of industrial batteries must publish details of how an end-user of such batteries should request the take back of waste industrial batteries by that producer.

Details require to be published before the 1st December of the year preceding the compliance year and be published in such a manner as is reasonably likely to bring them to the notice of end-users of industrial batteries.

Producers of automotive batteries must publish details of how final holders of automotive batteries should request the collection of waste automotive batteries from that producer before the 1st December of the year preceding year, and be published in such a manner as is reasonably likely to bring them to the notice of final holders of automotive batteries.

Producer Registration Number

A producer who is registered with the Secretary of State (BIS) must declare its “producer registration number” to any person to whom that producer intends to sell, sells or otherwise supplies batteries in the U.K.


Producers of portable batteries are required to register with local EA through the NPWD website. This is subject to the tonnage of batteries you place on the market. If more than one tonne then you will have to join a compliance scheme who will register you with the NPWD. You will be obliged to pay for the collection, treatment, recycling and disposal of waste batteries in proportion to your market share. This will be arranged by your compliance scheme. If you are a small producer, placing under one tonne of portable batteries on the UK market you will not have to pay for the collection and treatment of waste portable batteries, but you will still have to register yourself directly with your local EA but do not need to join a compliance scheme. There is a charge to register as a small producer which is currently reported to be £30. If you sell more than 32kg of portable batteries each year then you have to provide in-store take-back from 1st February 2010.

If you are a producer of Industrial and/or automotive batteries and sell portable batteries then you may be required to register with the EA. Some small industrial batteries could be classified as portable and you may find you need to join a compliance scheme or register with your local EA.

Please check with the IBDA Secretary if you are need clarification.

REMEMBER Registering with the NPWD covers all regions of the United Kingdom. However parts of the Waste Batteries and Accumulators Regulations 2009 require you to register with your regional

environmental body;

In England and Wales it is the Environment Agency

In Scotland it is the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency

In Northern Ireland it is the Northern Ireland Environment Agency

The Waste Batteries and Accumulators Regulations 2009 covers the United Kingdom with the exception of Paragraph 56 which does not apply to Scotland, which is covered in Scotland by the Waste Batteries (Scotland) Regulations 2009 ; and in Northern Ireland there are two Regulations, namely: the Waste Batteries and Accumulators (Treatment & Disposal) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2009 and the Waste Batteries and Accumulators (Charges) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2009.

It is also important to remember that waste batteries are treated as ‘Hazardous Waste’ and you are required to register as a Hazardous Waste Producer if you handle, receive or produce waste batteries. The Hazardous Waste Regulations concern you regardless of whether you are registered as a ‘Producer’ under the Waste Batteries and Accumulators Regulations 2009. Also, you still have obligations under legislation covering Duty of Care; Carriers Licence; Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road; and the Safe Storage of Waste Batteries.

Batteries and Accumulators (Placing on the Market) Regulations 2008

The information contained in this section of the Guidance leaflet is directed mainly towards Automotive and Industrial batteries, although there is some reference to portable batteries.

Introduction. This regulation came into force on the 26th September 2008 and these notes cover the main requirements of the Regulations. The main requirement of the Regulations is that any persons placing batteries or appliances containing batteries on the UK market must comply with are;

(i) restrictions on the use of mercury or cadmium in batteries,

(ii) labelling to aid recycling,

(iii) batteries that do not meet the requirements of the legislation should be prohibited from sale or withdrawn from the market,

(iv) requirements that certain appliances be designed in such a way that waste batteries

can be readily removed.

Note: The word battery or batteries can also mean accumulator or accumulators.

Prohibited from placing on the market

(a) any battery or button cell containing more than 0.0005% of mercury by weight but excludes button cells which are permitted a mercury content of no more than 2% by weight;

(b) any portable battery that contains more than 0.002% of cadmium by weight, but does not apply to portable batteries in emergency and alarm systems, including emergency lighting; medical equipment; or cordless power tools;

(c) Any portable battery or button cell containing more than 0.004% of lead by weight.

These material prohibitions do not apply to a battery which is a material or component of a vehicle within the scope of the End of Life Vehicles Directive 2000/53/EC.

Any person placing batteries on the market shall mark any batteries, or their packaging where appropriate, with the “crossed out” wheelie bin symbol and must ensure they are marked with the appropriate chemical symbol; mercury Hg ; cadmium Cd ; and lead Pb.

The “wheelie bin” symbols must meet the size as detailed in the Regulations. At all times the chemical symbol must be indicated visibly, legibly and indelibly.

The regulations require that only those batteries placed on the market on or after the 26th September 2008 must comply with the composition and labelling requirements of the new regulations. No person shall place on the market any appliance designed in such a way that a waste battery cannot be readily removed from it, and it should also be accompanied by instructions showing how the battery can be removed safely, and where appropriate inform the end-user of the type of battery incorporated.

These requirements do not apply where for safety, performance, medical or data integrity reasons continuity of power supply is necessary.

Capacity labelling

In addition to the above requirements it is also a requirement that the capacity for all portable and automotive batteries is indicated on them in a visible, legible and indelible form.

The Commission Regulation (EU) No 1103/2010 establishing the rules as regards the “capacity labelling of portable secondary (rechargeable) and automotive batteries and accumulators” came into force on the 29th November 2010 and shall apply to portable secondary (rechargeable) and automotive batteries and accumulators placed on the market for the first time eighteen months after this date.

The Commission Regulation, Annex II Part B (1), states that “The rated capacity* and the cold cranking performance”, of automotive batteries (lead-acid starters) shall be measured according to standard IEC 60095-1/ EN 50342-1. Article 3.2 of the Regulations states; ‘The capacity of automotive batteries and accumulators shall be expressed in “Ampere hour(s)” (Ah) and “Cold Cranking Amperes” (A), using both these abbreviations’.

The Regulation requires that all automotive batteries and accumulators shall be marked with a label containing the information set out in the Annex III, Part B, (1) the rated capacity* as stated and detailed above in Annex II Part B (1), and the value, as set out in Annex III Part B (2), of the rated capacity and the cranking current displayed as an integer with a level of +/- 10% accuracy of the nominal value. In Annex IV Part B, capacity labels of automotive batteries and accumulators shall comply with the following requirements; (a) the label shall cover at least 3% of the area of the largest side of the automotive battery, up to a maximum of 20mm X 150mm (H x L), and; (b) the label shall be located on the battery, on one of the sides of the battery, excluding the bottom side.

Any person placing batteries on the market should obtain an assurance from their supplier that the products supplied do not contain more than the permitted levels of the restricted substances, except where the presence of that substance comes within the scope of an exemption.

It is an offence under the Regulations to;
place batteries on the market which exceed the maximum allowed percentage by
weight of mercury or cadmium;
placing on the market unlabelled or incorrectly labelled batteries;
placing on the market appliances that are not designed in such a way that waste batteries can be readily removed;
failure to comply with an enforcement notice;
obstructing an enforcement officer who is acting in respect of these regulations;
failing to comply with the requirements to provide information, documents or records.

Under the UK “Waste Battery Regulations” and the “Placing on the Market Regulations” both Defra and Dept. for BIS have appointed the Environment Agency (EA) as one of their enforcement bodies. Defra has also appointed the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA) as an enforcement agency for portable batteries, while the Dept. of BIS has appointed the National Measurement Office as an enforcement agent for Automotive and Industrial batteries.

Approved Battery Exporter

If you export your waste automotive or industrial batteries for treatment or recycling then you must apply to become an Approved Battery Exporter.

How do you make an application for Approval?
You should request an application form from your local environment agency (contact details can be found at the end of this information). The application pack contains the following information;

Form Guidance WMP11 – information on who should apply, how to apply and what to do
once you are approved;
Information sheet NPWD08 – guidance on how to make an application on-line;
‘super user’ and ‘authorised signatory’ forms – these must be completed before an application can be submitted.

All applications must be made on-line on the National Packaging Waste Database (NPWD) which can be accessed via the website (see page 1). You should apply as soon as possible, as applications received after the end of September 2009 may not be determined in time for the start of the first compliance period (1st January 2010).

Evidence Notes

Only Approved Battery Exporters or Approved Battery Treatment Operators may issue “batteries evidence notes” to battery compliance schemes for the treatment and/or recycling of waste portable batteries either in the UK or abroad.

Approved battery exporters may only issue batteries evidence notes on waste portable batteries if they have not been treated already in the UK before being exported ( e.g. sorted into different chemistry types).

More information can be found by contacting your local environment agency:

Environment Agency for England and Wales
Email batteries@environment-agency.gov.uk
Telephone 08705 506 506

Scottish Environment Protection Agency
Website www.sepa.org.uk
Telephone 01786 457 700

Northern Ireland Environment Agency
Email batteries@doeni.gov.uk
Telephone 028 90 567 383

The information contained in these pages is presented in good faith and is only issued as guidance. Whilst every care has been taken in the compilation of these notes, neither the BBIF, the BBIF Members, nor those acting on behalf of the BBIF, or its Members, can accept no liability for any event arising from their use or interpretation. Users agree that use of this information is at entirely at their own risk and are not entitled to make any claims against the BBIF, the BBIF Members, nor those acting on behalf of the BBIF or its Members. Government websites provide more detailed information on legislation. When in doubt seek legal advice.