All about battery regulation08 March 2024

batteries regulations EU (Image credit: AdobeStock by TheWaterMeloonProjec)

Sustainability and safety are two major metrics by which any business, product or process is judged today – and batteries are no exception. By Marcus Sampson, business line manager, transport at TÜV SÜD

Introduced in 2023, the latest EU battery regulation aims to ensure that batteries placed on the European market are sustainable and safe throughout their life cycle. The new Regulation, which came into force on 17 August 2023, replaced the Battery Directive 2006/66/EC, which will expire in August 2025. The regulation introduces major changes and requirements aimed at enhancing the sustainability and safety of batteries and battery-operated products. In contrast to a directive, a regulation is a legal act that applies automatically and uniformly in all EU countries, without the need for transposition into national law. The new regulations apply to economic operators using batteries or applications with an incorporated battery for their own service/business.


The regulation applies to the entire life cycle of a battery, including raw materials procurement, battery production and battery reuse and recycling. It also introduces new categories of batteries according to their use and design. As a result, it applies to a range of cells, including portable, industrial, automotive, electric vehicle (EV) and light means of transport (LMT) batteries. Battery cells or battery modules ready for end use shall be considered those that have been placed on the market as batteries subject to the requirements applicable to the most similar battery category.

To adhere to the new requirements, manufacturers will be required to affix the CE marking to batteries before placing them on the market or putting them into service, starting from 18th August 2024. The CE marking indicates compliance with EU safety, health and environmental protection requirements. Furthermore, notified bodies may be involved in granting the CE marking for certain types of batteries.

Meanwhile, from 18 February 2027, LMT, EV, and industrial batteries with a capacity greater than 2kWh must be electronically registered with a battery passport carrying an identification QR code and CE marking. This passport will include information that is specific to the batteries and their sustainability requirements, providing data on battery handling instructions and state of health to recycling operators and repurposing efforts. Safety testing requirements have been introduced, but they apply only to stationary battery energy storage systems (SBESS).


The regulation includes provisions for calculating the carbon footprint of batteries and setting recycled content targets for various elements, specifically cobalt, lead, lithium and nickel. These requirements will start to apply from 18th August 2024, with delegated acts and implementation acts specifying methodologies for calculation.

To mitigate the impact of batteries on climate change, there are three requirements within the new regulation on rechargeable industrial batteries with a capacity greater than 2kWh, LMT batteries and electric vehicle batteries.

Firstly, they are to be accompanied by a carbon footprint declaration (until it becomes accessible via QR code). This declaration shall be drawn up for each battery model per manufacturing plant. The methodology for the calculation and verification of the carbon footprint will be provided for by delegated acts, but the essential elements are already set out in Annex II to the Batteries Regulation.

Secondly, they must bear a label indicating the carbon footprint of the battery and the carbon footprint performance class of the relevant battery model per manufacturing plant. The Commission will establish carbon footprint performance classes and thresholds via a delegated act.

Finally, the batteries must observe maximum life cycle carbon footprint thresholds. The declared life cycle carbon footprint value shall stay below the maximum life cycle carbon footprint threshold to be established by the Commission in a delegated act.


Under the regulation, general use portable batteries (excluding button cells), rechargeable industrial batteries and LMT batteries shall comply with electrochemical performance and durability parameters. Electric vehicle batteries shall only be accompanied by a document informing about values for those parameters, but they will not be required to meet minimum values.

By the end of 2030, the Commission shall consider either the adoption of measures to phase out non-rechargeable portable batteries of general use or the setting of eco-design requirements.

The regulation mandates that portable batteries should be easily removable and replaceable by end-users – while LMT, EV, and industrial batteries should be easily removable and replaceable by independent professionals. This requirement will be enforced from 18 February 2027.

This mandate means that operators who place products on the market that incorporate portable batteries shall ensure that by 2027 these are ‘readily removable’ (i.e., without requiring specialised tools, unless provided free of charge) and replaceable by the end-user at any time during the product’s lifetime. Likewise, operators shall ensure that LMT batteries as well as individual battery cells are readily removable and replaceable by an independent professional at any time. A portable or a LMT battery will be ‘readily replaceable’ if it can be substituted by another compatible battery without affecting the functioning, performance or safety of the appliance or light means of transport.


There is now an obligation for large economic operators placing batteries on the market, or putting them into service, to have a battery due diligence policy on responsible raw material sourcing, processing and trading. Furthermore, this policy must be verified by a notified body and periodically audited. Producers and producer responsibility organizations (PROs) must therefore adopt and communicate a due diligence policy for the batteries themselves. They are also required to establish management systems to support due diligence policies, identify and assess risks in the supply chain and design strategies to address identified risks. Third-party verification by a notified body is necessary. The due diligence obligation comes into effect from 18 August 2025.

The due diligence policy shall concern raw materials and associated social and environmental risk categories listed in Annex X to the battery regulation. Economic operators shall among other things: Keep certain information regarding the supply chain; incorporate their battery due diligence policy into contracts with suppliers and identify risk of adverse impacts in their supply chain associated with the relevant risk categories. It shall also take measures to prevent, mitigate or otherwise address those adverse impacts.


Recycling efficiency targets and material recovery targets for specific elements in recycling and treatment facilities for batteries are outlined in the new regulation and these will apply from 31 December 2027.

The main aim of this part of the standard is to promote the recovery

of critical raw materials and – as a wider point – to reduce the EU’s dependency on such materials. In order to attain

this, the regulation has introduced two main requirements that are applicable

to some industrial batteries, electric vehicle batteries and starting, lighting and ignition (SLI) batteries. While they are not currently subject to the requirements, LMT batteries will be applicable at a later date.

The first requirement is disclosure of information on recycled content of cobalt, lead, lithium and nickel. Relevant batteries shall be accompanied by documentation informing about the percentage share of cobalt, lithium or nickel present in active materials and the amount that has been recovered from battery manufacturing waste or post-consumer waste. The percentage share of lead present in the battery and recovered from waste, for each battery model per year and per manufacturing plant shall also be disclosed.

Secondly, mandatory recycled content targets for cobalt, lead, lithium and nickel will be required. This process will be applicable several months after the disclosure requirement. The percentage share of these raw materials shall be measured against a methodology adopted by the Commission through delegated acts. Finally, this requirement is subject to third-party verification.


The EU’s battery regulation restricts the use in batteries of certain substances listed in Annex I of the document. This Annex I can be amended by the Commission through delegated acts if there is an unacceptable risk to human health or the environment that is not adequately controlled and needs to be addressed on an EU-wide basis. This could overlap with the restriction of chemicals under the REACH Regulation.

Requirements for information and labelling include a battery passport, specific labelling (such as chemistry, lifetime and charging capacity), electronic databases and second life data sets. These requirements aim to enhance information and traceability.

By 2026, all batteries within the EU will be labelled with some general information and marked with a separate collection symbol. At a later stage – by 2027 – all batteries shall be marked with a QR code to access either a battery passport, for LMT batteries, some industrial batteries and electric vehicles batteries – or the applicable information for other batteries.

Furthermore, rechargeable portable batteries, LMT batteries and SLI batteries shall bear a label informing about charging capacity. In addition, non-rechargeable portable batteries shall bear a label informing about their minimum average duration when used in specific applications and say they are ‘non-rechargeable’. Batteries containing a minimum heavy metal content of cadmium or lead shall be marked with a symbol – and SLI batteries shall be marked with a QR code informing about the amount of recovered cobalt, lead, lithium or nickel.

The EU’s battery regulation introduces another information requirement for stationary battery energy storage systems, LMT batteries and electric vehicle batteries using a battery management system. The end-user – or any third party on their behalf – shall be able to check the data stored in that system to determine the state of health and expected lifetime of their batteries. This will be used for purposes of evaluating the capability for further use, for example.


The regulation foresees end-of-life provisions on the basis that collection should be separate and maximised – and recycling should be efficient. Notably, it lays down provisions on a register of producers to be created at national level; extended producer responsibility; collection targets (the target for waste portable batteries is increased and a specific target is set for waste LMT batteries); take-back obligations; targets for recycling efficiency and for recovery of materials; shipment of waste batteries and reporting to the authorities, etc. The regulation also addresses the shipment of waste batteries outside the EU.

Reporting obligations are introduced and there are specific deadlines for implementing various aspects of the regulation, with certain requirements coming into effect in different phases from 2024 to 2028.

The applicability of these provisions varies depending on the battery type and the regulation seeks to promote transparency, sustainability, and responsibility throughout the battery supply chain. Manufacturers, importers, and other stakeholders will therefore need to comply with these new requirements within the specified deadlines, with some aspects requiring third-party verification and delegated acts to specify methodologies and calculations.

Marcus Sampson, business line manager, transport at TÜV SÜD

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