Guidance

Waste batteries: producer responsibility

Rules to follow if you put batteries, including batteries in vehicles or appliances, on the UK market for the first time.

Battery producers are responsible for minimising harmful effects of waste batteries on the environment, by:

  • improving the design of new batteries – you must follow ‘placing on the market’ rules
  • paying for waste battery collection, treatment, recycling and disposal – you must follow the rules on this page

It’s illegal to send waste industrial or vehicle and other automotive batteries for incineration or to landfill.

You’re a battery producer if you have a UK business presence and you’re the first person in your selling chain (including importers) to make batteries available for supply or sale on the UK market.

Battery producers must:

  • register with the appropriate environmental regulator
  • accurately record the tonnage and chemistry of batteries placed on the market

It depends on the type of battery you sell and the amount of batteries you put on the market as to how you register.

The types of battery include:

  • portable
  • vehicle and other automotive
  • industrial

To check which type of batteries you place on the market see the technical guidance.

Approved or appropriate person

You must be an approved or appropriate person to sign applications for approval and registration and to submit data and statements of declaration of compliance.

See the guidance on what constitutes an approved or appropriate person.

Use the delegation of approved/appropriate person form if you want to delegate your function to another person. Sign the form and send it to your environmental regulator.

Portable battery producer: register

Place more than 1 tonne a year on the market

You must pay for the collection, treatment and recycling of waste portable batteries. You do this by joining a battery compliance scheme (BCS) by 15 October before the start of the compliance year (calendar year). You pay the BCS an annual fee and it takes on your duties.

They will:

  • register you annually with the correct environmental regulator
  • pay the environmental regulator £600 annually for each member
  • send information to your environmental regulator about the batteries you placed on the market in the previous 2 years and the current year
  • get evidence notes for the collection, treatment and recycling of waste portable batteries
  • send information to your environmental regulator about the waste batteries they collect and deliver for treatment and recycling

Tell your BCS within 14 days if you:

  • need to make changes to your registration details
  • are no longer a large portable battery producer

Place 1 tonne or less on the market

You must register direct with the environmental regulator of the UK country where your registered office is on the National Packaging Waste Database (NPWD).

Each year you must submit the tonnage and chemistry on the NPWD to confirm how many batteries you placed on the market in the previous year. This must be done by 31 January in the following year.

The annual charge is £30.

Tell your regulator if you’re no longer a small portable battery producer within one month of the change.

Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE): batteries in products

If you place products containing batteries on the UK market, you will need to report separately the weight of:

Even if your EEE doesn’t fall under the WEEE Regulations you will still be a battery producer.

Vehicle and automotive battery producer: register

You must register within 28 days of first placing your batteries on the UK market with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

See the definition of a vehicle and automotive battery.

Register direct with BEIS on the NPWD.

You must provide the total tonnage, chemistry and brand name of automotive batteries you placed on the market by 31 March in the following year.

If you’re also a large producer of portable batteries, you can register through your BCS.

Each producer has a duty to collect waste vehicle and other automotive waste batteries, free and within a reasonable timescale, when asked from the final holder, for example, from:

  • garages
  • scrapyards
  • end-of-life vehicle treatment sites
  • local council waste collection sites

You must tell final holders how they can request the collection of waste vehicle batteries, for example through information on your website.

The waste batteries must go to an Approved Battery Treatment Operator (ABTO) or an Approved Battery Exporter (ABE) for treatment and recycling.

Industrial battery producer: register

You must register within 28 days of first placing your batteries on the UK market with BEIS.

Register direct with BEIS on the NPWD.

You must provide the total tonnage, chemistry and brand name of industrial batteries placed on the market by 31 March in the following year.

If you’re also a large producer of portable batteries, you can register through your BCS.

You have a duty to:

  • take back waste industrial batteries free of charge from any end-user, if you supply them with new batteries, if they’re the same chemistry as batteries you place on the market or if they cannot be returned to another producer
  • tell end users how they can return waste industrial batteries, for example through information on your website

The waste batteries must go to an ABTO or an ABE for treatment and recycling.

Waste battery producers: extra information

Battery producer registration number (BPRN)

If you supply distributors or business end-users, put your battery producer registration number (BPRN) on any paperwork like invoices, contracts or delivery notes.

Brand names

You’re required to report the brand of any batteries you place on the market, as part of your registration, if this is available.

Records: extra information

You should record the weight of portable batteries placed on the UK market but afterwards exported. The government is trying to assess the extent of this practice.

Technical information

See the technical guidance for exclusions, definitions and battery classification.

Penalties

Failure to follow the regulations and carry out your duties may result in prosecution and a fine.

BCS: apply for approval

If you want to run a BCS you need approval from the environmental regulator of the UK country where you have a registered office or where you carry out the day to day running of the business (for example, decision making). Contact your regulator for details on how to apply. The charge to assess the application is £17,000. The annual subsistence charge for operating a BCS is £90,000 plus £600 for each member.

See waste battery technical guidance for exclusions, definitions and battery types.

Environmental regulators

Environment Agency - England
Telephone: 03708 506 506*

Email: batteries@environment-agency.gov.uk

Northern Ireland Environment Agency
Telephone: 028 9056 9382*

Email: batteries@doeni.gov.uk

Scottish Environment Protection Agency
Telephone: 01786 457700*

Email: producer.responsibility@sepa.org.uk

Natural Resources Wales
Telephone: 0300 065 3000*

Email: enquiries@naturalresourceswales.gov.uk

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)

Email: enquiries@bis.gsi.gov.uk

*Call charge information

‘Placing on the market’ responsibilities

For your responsibilities for improving the design and manufacture of new batteries, follow the Batteries and accumulators: placing on the market regulations guidance:

More information

See the legislation and regulations for your responsiblilities for waste batteries:

Published 26 June 2014
Last updated 9 February 2016 + show all updates
  1. Updated to provide a link to the delegation of approved/appropriate person form.
  2. New email address for the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS): enquiries@bis.gsi.gov.uk
  3. First published.