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What are my obligations?

Producers
Distributors
Battery Treatment Facilities

Producers

All business that place batteries onto the UK market are affected by the Batteries Regulations and are known as Producers

If your business places more than 1 tonne of batteries onto the UK market in a year, you must join a producer compliance scheme such as eBatt. You need to do this before the 15th October prior to the compliance year. Your business will then be registered with the appropriate environment agency and you must then report quarterly to the scheme the number of portable batteries you have placed on the UK market which will determine your financing obligation.  The compliance scheme will then arrange for the collection, treatment and recycling of waste portable batteries to meet your obligation and approved treatment facilities will issue evidence to the scheme to demonstrate that this has taken place.

The targets for the collection of waste portable batteries as a percentage of new portable batteries placed on the market are:

Compliance Period      Collection Target
2010                                10%
2011                                18%
2012                                25%
2013                                30%
2014                                35%
2015                                40%
2016                                45%


If your business places less than 1 tonne of batteries onto the UK market in a year, you must register with the Environment Agency by the 31st January each year and pay the annual registration fee. You need to report details of the number of batteries you placed on the UK market but you do not need to register with a compliance scheme nor make any financial contribution to collection, treatment or recycling of waste batteries.

Producers of industrial and automotive batteries also have financing obligations, but due to the established collection infrastructures already in place are not required to join a compliance scheme in order to meet these and must register directly with the Department for Business Innovation & Skills (BIS). However, if you are a portable battery producer as well, you only need one registration and you will therefore register as an industrial and/or automotive battery producer through your portable battery compliance scheme.

Distributors

Distributors who sell more than 32 kilograms a year of portable batteries to end users must accept waste portable batteries from end users without charge. This is regardless of the method of sale used. The Regulations apply to shops selling portable batteries and to all distance sellers within the UK that sell portable batteries to UK end-users. Distributors must also provide information to end-users about their take-back arrangements at their sales points.

Distributors who sell equipment containing portable batteries do not have to  take back portable batteries from end-users, unless they also sell portable  batteries separately. Distributors of such equipment also do not have to provide information to end-users about take back of waste portable batteries unless they also sell portable batteries separately. 

As a distributor you are entitled to free of charge collection of the waste portable batteries that you collect by a battery compliance scheme.

You can find full information on your obligations as a Distributor on the GOV.UK website – www.gov.uk/battery-waste-supplier-reponsibilities 

Battery treatment facilities

Battery treatment facilities wishing to become an Approved Battery Treatment Operator (ABTO) or Approved Battery Exporter (ABE) must apply for approval to the relevant environment agency. Approvals last for one year.

For the protection of health and the environment the treatment and recycling of waste batteries must use best available techniques. They must also comply as a minimum with Community legislation, especially on health and safety and waste management.

Each site included within an approval for an ABTO must have the relevant Environmental Permit, Waste Management Licence or exemption. The Regulations require ABTOs to ensure the Directive requirements for the treatment and recycling of waste batteries are met.

ABTOs will need to achieve the recycling efficiency requirements of the Batteries Directive i.e. that batteries recycling processes achieve (by 26 September 2011):

Only ABTO’s and ABE’s may issue evidence of waste portable batteries accepted for treatment to compliance schemes