European Battery Directive
In Europe the main legislation that regulates batteries is the European Battery Directive (Directive 2006/66/EC) on batteries and accumulators and waste batteries and this has the aim of minimising the negative impact of batteries on the environment and improving their overall environmental performance.
This directive defines three classes of batteries (Portable, Industrial and Automotive) and it restricts the use of some materials in batteries (particularly mercury and cadmium in portable batteries). It also tasks Member States of the European Union with encouraging the development of improvements to the environmental performance of batteries and putting in place battery collection schemes. Member States must also ensure that storage and recycling of spent batteries is appropriate and fit for the purpose. Member States are required to regularly report on progress in the areas covered by this Directive. Under this directive SLI (starting, lighting, ignition) batteries are defined as automotive batteries whereas hybrid and electric vehicle batteries are treated as industrial batteries. Furthermore, the Battery Directive acts as a framework law, foreseeing further legislation in the field of batteries.
In addition this directive imposes labelling requirements on all battery types to encourage battery recycling and identify any heavy metals that may be contained within as below.
Restriction of Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (RoHS)
The definition and aim of the RoHS directive is quite simple. The RoHS directive aims to restrict certain dangerous substances commonly used in electrical and electronic equipment. Any RoHS compliant component is tested for the presence of Lead (Pb), Cadmium (Cd), Mercury (Hg), Hexavalent chromium (Hex-Cr), Polybrominated biphenyls (PBB), and Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE).
For Cadmium and Hexavalent chromium, there must be less than 0.01% of the substance by weight at raw homogeneous materials level. For Lead, PBB, and PBDE, there must be no more than 0.1% of the material, when calculated by weight at raw homogeneous materials. Any RoHS compliant component must have 100 ppm or less of mercury and the mercury must not have been intentionally added to the component. In the EU, some military and medical equipment are exempt from RoHS compliance.
|Hexavalent Chromium||Cr VI||0.01 %|
|Polybrominated Biphenyl||PBB||0.10 %|
|Polybrominated Diphenyl ether||PBDE||0.10 %|
These requirements are applicable to power supplies, battery chargers, torches and other Electrical and Electronic Equipment. However, batteries are outside the scope of RoHS regulations and as such the regulations do not apply to batteries. This includes batteries permanently fixed into a product as well as disposable batteries. Enix Power Solutions have a voluntary commitment to ensure our products and processes are in compliance with the requirements of RoHS where appropriate. Therefore Enix Power Solutions do not use these materials other than where would be permitted under the above regulations.
Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation & restriction of CHemicals (REACH)
The following is a synopsis of the regulations contained within REACH:
- From 1st June 2008, manufacturers of substances, and importers of substances as such or of substances in preparations (mixtures) into the European Community (EC) and the European Economic Area (EEA), must register these substances with the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) if the substances in question are manufactured or imported in quantities of at least 1 tonne per year and if they are not substances that are exempted from compulsory registration.
- Suppliers of substances and preparations must provide the recipient with either a safety data sheet (Article 31) or safety information (Article 32). In certain cases, the safety data sheet will be supplemented by an annex (“extended safety data sheet”) showing the relevant exposure scenarios.
- Manufacturers and importers of articles that contain more than 0.1 mass percent per article of a substance on the “candidate list” of Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) shall provide the professional recipient and on request a consumer of the article with sufficient information to allow safe use of the article, including, as a minimum, the name of that substance. If all these articles contain more than 1 tonne per year a notification to the ECHA is necessary, however, not before 1st June 2011.
Under the REACH regulations batteries are defined as an article. Enix Power Solutions supply articles (not substances or chemicals) which are not intended to release any substance under normal and reasonably foreseeable conditions of use. Consequently, the obligations in No. 1 and 2 above are not relevant to Enix Power Solutions. The first “candidate list” of SVHC’s was published on 28th October 2008 and is periodically updated, and currently Enix Power Solutions have not been notified by any of its suppliers that an SVHC is used in any products that Enix Power Solutions provide to our customers, as such we have no current obligation under No. 3. Enix Power Solutions have only been notified by one supplier that their product contains a substance on the candidate list of SVHC and Enix Power Solutions comply fully with the requirements of the REACH regulations when supplying this product.
The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE Directive)
The European Union (EU) is taking measures to prevent the generation of electrical and electronic waste and to promote reuse, recycling and other forms of recovery in order to reduce the quantity of such waste to be eliminated, whilst also improving the environmental performance of economic operators involved in its management. In addition, in order to contribute to the recovery and elimination of equipment waste and the protection of human health, the EU is also taking measures to restrict the use of hazardous substances in this type of equipment. Battery chargers, power supplies and torches fall within the scope of the WEEE Directive and should be marked with the crossed out dustbin, as well as with producer identification (Brand name) and marking that product has been placed on market after August 2005.
The letters ‘CE’ appears on many products traded on the extended Single Market in the European Economic Area (EEA). They signify that products sold in the EEA have been assessed to meet high safety, health, and environmental protection requirements. CE marking also supports fair competition by holding all companies accountable to the same rules.
By affixing the CE marking to a product, a manufacturer declares that the product meets all the legal requirements for CE marking and can be sold throughout the EEA. This also applies to products made in other countries that are sold in the EEA.
There are two main benefits CE marking brings to businesses and consumers within the EEA:
- Businesses know that products bearing the CE marking can be traded in the EEA without restrictions.
- Consumers enjoy the same level of health, safety, and environmental protection throughout the entire EEA.
CE marking is a part of the EU’s harmonisation legislation, which is mainly managed by Directorate-General for Internal market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs.
Not all products must have CE marking. It is compulsory only for most of the products covered by the New Approach Directives. It is forbidden to affix CE marking to other products.
Please note that a CE marking does not indicate that a product have been approved as safe by the EU or by another authority. It does not indicate the origin of a product either.
Batteries may be required to be CE marked if they are used in a product that comes under the scope of a directive requiring CE Marking e.g. Medical, Personal Protective Equipment or the other 22 current directives. Battery chargers are required to bear the CE mark under the scope of the Low Voltage Directive (LVD). The LVD applies to all electrical equipment designed for use with a voltage rating of between 50 and 1000 V for alternating current (AC) and between 75 and 1500 V for direct current (DC). Voltage ratings refer to the voltage of the electrical input or output, not to voltages that may appear inside the equipment.
Battery operated equipment outside the voltage rating is obviously outside the scope of the LVD. Nevertheless, any accompanying battery charger as well as equipment with integrated power supply unit within the voltage ranges of the Directive are in the scope of the LVD. This applies also in the case of battery operated equipment with supply voltage rating under 50 V AC and 75 V DC, for their accompanying power supply unit (e.g. Notebooks).
Transport of Dangerous Goods
Transport of dangerous goods needs to be regulated in order to prevent, as far as possible, accidents to persons or property and damage to the environment, the means of transport employed or to other goods. However, with different regulations in every country and for different modes of transport, international trade in chemicals and dangerous products would be seriously impeded, if not made impossible and unsafe. Moreover, dangerous goods are also subject to other kinds of regulations, e.g. work safety regulations, consumer protection regulations, storage regulations, environment protection regulations.
In order to ensure consistency between all these regulatory systems, the United Nations has developed mechanisms for the harmonization of hazard classification criteria and hazard communication tools (GHS) as well as for transport conditions for all modes for transport (TDG). In addition, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) administers regional agreements that ensure the effective implementation of these mechanisms as far as transport of dangerous goods by road (ADR), rail (RID) and inland waterways (ADN) is concerned. In addition, there are separate organisations that regulate marine (IMDG) and air transport (ICAO and IATA).
Types of Batteries Designated as Dangerous Goods
Lead-acid batteries: Common in cars, electric wheelchairs, some continuous computer power sources, and other applications. These batteries contain highly corrosive acid and can cause fires from short circuits. Tested, proven non-spillable batteries are allowed under international rules to be shipped as non-hazardous if they will not leak from a cracked case at a high temperature. Batteries and packagings may also be marked “NONSPILLABLE” or “NONSPILLABLE BATTERY”.
Lithium metal and lithium ion batteries: These batteries can be rechargeable or non-rechargeable power sources and are common in computers, cell phones, cameras, and other small electronic devices. If dropped, crushed, or short-circuited, lithium batteries can release dangerous amounts of heat and may ignite, making them dangerous in fires. Special regulations apply to shipping these batteries. Shipments requiring dangerous goods shipping documents are accepted only from approved shippers by most air transport carriers.
Other types of batteries are also classified as dangerous goods please contact Enix Power Solutions for further guidance.