Who do the Regulations affect?
Battery Treatment Facilities
Collectors of waste batteries
Producers are defined in the regulations as; “...any person in the UK that, irrespective of the selling techniques used [distance sellers included] places batteries or accumulators including those incorporated into appliances or vehicles on the UK market for the first time on a professional basis”.
The term Producer does not therefore necessarily refer to the manufacturer of the batteries. Instead, the emphasis is on whoever is placing them on the UK market first.
The definition mentions “appliances and vehicles” in order to make it clear that products already covered by Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations and End of Life Vehicles (ELV) Regulations are also covered by the Batteries Regulations.
The Regulations include a reference specifically to “distance sellers” and in doing so, make it clear that such producers shall be treated in the same way as any other producer of batteries. "However, as noted above the Regulations apply to "any person in the UK". So if the distance seller has no physical UK presence such as a Post Office Box, UK trading arm or office in the UK they are not covered by the definition of producer in the batteries regulations when selling directly to end-users. In this respect, the Regulations differ from the WEEE Regulations where producers do not have to have a UK presence".
Examples of Producers are:
- A company with a UK presence that imports batteries into the UK and then sells them wholesale in the UK
- A company with a UK presence which imports laptop computers (which include the batteries) into the UK and then sells them wholesale in the UK
- UK manufacturers of batteries that sell to the general public and/or to retailers
UK manufacturers of mobile phones (which include batteries) that sell to the general public and/or to retailers. The Regulations place different obligations on the producers of industrial, automotive and portable batteries.
Distributors are those that provide batteries and accumulators on a professional basis to an end-user. This term covers retailers of batteries as well as those supplying batteries to businesses.
The regulations apply to both shops selling batteries and to all distance sellers within the UK that sell batteries to UK end-users.
Battery treatment facilities
Portable, industrial and automotive batteries must be:
- treated and recycled by an Approved Battery Treatment Operator (ABTO); or
- delivered to an ABTO and then treated and recycled by another facility on behalf of the ABTO;
- exported for treatment and/or recycling by an Approved Battery Exporter.
Only ABTOs and ABEs may issue evidence of treatment and recycling or of export for treatment and recycling.
Collectors of Waste Batteries
If you collect waste batteries you would be regarded as an economic operator under the Regulations. An economic operator could be a producer, distributor, local authority or any other collector. Under the Directive, Battery Compliance Schemes (BCS) must provide economic operators with facilities to accept waste batteries into which the economic operator may deliver them. The BCS must then pay for the treatment and recycling of the waste batteries.
Collectors of automotive and Industrial batteries must make sure they are delivered into an Approved Battery Treatment Operator (ABTO or an Approved Battery Exporter (ABE)