EU battery regulation proposal: what does this mean for toys?
As part of the European Green Deal, the European Commission has proposed a new EU Batteries Regulation. This regulation should replace the current Battery Directive (Directive 2006/66/EC) and ensure that all batteries used within the EU are more sustainable, safer and cause less pollution. You can read about the consequences of this proposal for battery-powered toys in this article.
Background information on the EU Battery Directive
The incentive for the proposal was an evaluation of the current Battery Directive (Directive 2006/66/EC). This evaluation revealed that this directive is outdated and ineffective. Furthermore, the European Commission has set ambitious climate targets within the framework of the European Green Deal. These targets also form part of the proposal.
Please note: this concerns a proposal for a Regulation and not a proposal for a Directive. This means that once the regulation comes into effect, the rules will take effect immediately in all EU Member States In the case of a directive, the rules would first have to be implemented in national legislation.
Purpose and content of the regulation
The proposal aims to encourage the circular economy by encompassing the entire life cycle of batteries and to develop a European market for sustainable batteries. In broad terms, the proposal introduces:
- New general requirements that all batteries must meet. For example, CE marking will become mandatory and there will be a cap on the percentage of hazardous substances that may be used in batteries, such as mercury and cadmium. There will also be stricter standards for the sustainability, performance, life span and product labelling of batteries, as well as rules for the easy and safe disposal of portable batteries. The use of non-rechargeable portable batteries will also be phased out.
- New rules on the waste collection of discarded batteries.
The various requirements are expected to come into force in stages between mid-2024 and 2031.
What does the EU Batteries Regulation mean for toys?
The EU Batteries Regulation regulates all batteries: portable, automotive and electric vehicle batteries, industrial batteries etc. But what does the regulation specifically mean for toys with batteries?
- All used batteries must be labelled with a CE marking. In addition, battery-powered toy manufacturers will have to obtain an EU Declaration of Conformity for their technical documentation from the battery supplier.
- New labelling requirements will be introduced: batteries will be required to be labelled with a QR code, which provides access to product information, a symbol for separate waste collection, the declaration of conformity etc.
- New requirements will be introduced for capacity and minimum average running time.
- If the battery has a shorter lifespan than the toy, it must be possible to remove or replace the battery during the lifetime of the toy.
Progress of the proposal
On 17 March 2022, the Environment Council (which includes the Environment Ministers of the EU Member States) will convene to discuss the proposal, after which the proposal will be informally negotiated by the Member States. Certification Company will keep you informed about the progress and the enactment of the new regulation. Incidentally, a revision of the Toy Safety Directive (Directive 2009/48/EC) may also be in the works. Of course, Certification Company will keep you up to date on this as well.
Do you have questions?
Are you a manufacturer, importer or distributor of toys with batteries? And do you have questions about this directive? Then please contact one of our experts. We will be more than happy to answer them!