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Batteries & Accumulators

Evaluation of the EU Directive 2006/66/EC on batteries and accumulators (the Batteries Directive)

The Commission has completed the evaluation of the Batteries Directive, the only piece of EU legislation entirely dedicated to batteries. The evaluation report of the Batteries Directive has been published on the 9 of April 2019.

The results of the evaluation have been used to prepare the Commission report on the implementation and on the impact on the environment and the functioning of the internal market of the Batteries Directive.

The evaluation is part of a process that could lead to the directive’s revision. It has taken account of the increased use of batteries, due to the diversification of communication technologies or the growing demand for renewable energies. The initiative for a ‘European Batteries Alliance’ (EBA) that aims to ensure a whole value chain for the manufacturing of advanced cells and batteries within the EU is also part of the new policy context.

While the evaluation has adopted a broad perspective, some points have received particular attention, namely the management of hazardous substances in batteries, the collection and recycling of waste batteries or the directive’s capability to keep pace with technological change. Enabling measures, like those on labelling and information, have also been looked at.
The evaluation concludes that the directive has delivered positive results in terms of a better environment, the promotion of recycling and better functioning of the internal market for batteries and recycled materials.

Observed limitations in some legal provisions or their implementation prevent the directive from fully delivering on its objectives. This is particularly true as regards the collection of waste batteries or the efficiency in the recovery of materials.
The evaluation has pointed out how the absence of a mechanism to incorporate technological novelties and new usages makes it difficult to ensure that the directive keeps pace with technological developments.

The evaluation has been carried out following the Better Regulation Guidelines of the European Commission. The process has involved significant participation of stakeholders, which were consulted or invited to submit their ideas and views and provide information.  A public consultation has been held since the 6 September 2017 until the 28 November 2017. Representatives of the Member States and stakeholders participated in a meeting of the Expert Group on Waste (Batteries), the 14 of March 2018, where the initial findings of the Study in Support of the Evaluation were presented.