You can't live without them in today's world! Each Belgian household contains an average of 131 batteries (Bebat, 2023). Found in a variety of everyday objects such as laptops, mobile phones, e-cigarettes, electric bikes and scooters, they're only growing in popularity, not least due to the electrification of transport. They are also used in many industrial applications.

While batteries are an essential source of energy, their production and disposal have a significant impact on the environment. To minimise the negative impact of batteries, battery waste and accumulators on the environment, in 2006 the European Union (EU) adopted Directive 2006/66 of 6 September 2006 on batteries and accumulators and waste batteries and accumulators (link is external), better known as the "Battery Directive". This directive lays down rules for the placing on the market of batteries and accumulators. In particular, these include restrictions on the use of heavy metals — mercury (Hg), cadmium (Cd) and lead (Pb) — the prohibition of certain batteries and accumulators containing hazardous substances, and the compulsory use of appropriate markings. The directive also lays down specific requirements for the treatment, recycling and disposal of waste batteries and accumulators. 

In recent years, however, the socio-economic and technological developments associated with batteries have evolved. Global demand for batteries continues to grow exponentially, and is set to increase fourteen-fold by 2030. The corollary of this increased demand is a massive reliance on raw materials (already in a critical situation), which risks jeopardising our energy independence and the environment. The regulation of batteries, as an essential technology for the transition to climate neutrality and a more circular economy, has therefore become a priority issue if we are to achieve the objectives of the European Green Deal.(This hyperlink opens a new window) 

This is why Regulation (EU) 2023/1542 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 July 2023 concerning batteries and waste batteries (link is external), amending Directive 2008/98/EC and Regulation (EU) 2019/1020 and repealing Directive 2006/66/EC was published on 28 July 2023. The battery regulation has been in force since 17 August 2023. It will gradually replace the Battery Directive, until the latter is repealed in 2025.  

The aim of the new battery regulation is to ensure that durable, circular, high-performing and safe batteries are placed on the European market throughout their life cycle, that they are collected, repurposed and recycled, and that they become a source of valuable raw materials. In the current energy context, the new rules will contribute to the development of a competitive and sustainable European battery industry. The regulation is directly applicable in the Member States, without the need for transposition into national legislation. This degree of harmonisation is designed to improve the functioning of the internal battery market and ensure fair competition.  

If you are a manufacturer, importer, distributor or user of batteries, or otherwise involved in the battery chain, this web page explains your new obligations. 

Scope of the European battery regulatio

The new battery regulation applies to all batteries placed on the market within the European Union, regardless of their origin, the raw materials they are made from, or whether or not they are incorporated into appliances or vehicles. Whereas the 2006 Battery Directive only set out three categories of batteries (portable batteries and accumulators, industrial batteries and accumulators and automotive batteries and accumulators), the new battery regulation defines five categories

  • Portable batteries (whether or not they are rechargeable, weighing up to 5 kg),
  • Electric vehicle batteries (EV batteries),
  • Industrial batteries,
  • Starting, lighting and ignition batteries (Start-Light-Ignition or SLI batteries)
  • Batteries for light means of transport such as electric bikes and scooters (also known as "LMT batteries", weighing up to 25 kg). 

Product standards and end-of-life obligations differ depending on the battery category. End-use battery cells or modules must meet the requirements of the battery category they are most similar to. 

The battery regulation imposes requirements in terms of durability, safety, labelling, marking and due diligence (see below). It also lays down a number of minimum requirements for extended producer responsibility, collection and treatment of waste batteries, and the provision of information in this respect. Finally, it sets out requirements for green public contracts for the procurement of batteries or products containing batteries.

Durability and safety requirements

First and foremost, the battery regulation imposes new restrictions on the use of hazardous substances. Restrictions on the use of mercury, cadmium and lead are set out in Annex I of the regulation. Batteries must also comply with the restrictions laid down in Annex XVII of the REACH Regulation (link is external) and Article 4(2)(a) of the End-of-Life Vehicles Directive (link is external). Substances of concern used in batteries will be assessed regularly. 

To mitigate the impact of batteries on the climate, it will be necessary to provide information on the carbon footprint of electric vehicle batteries, LMT batteries and rechargeable industrial batteries with a capacity of over 2 kWh. A carbon footprint declaration, carbon footprint performance classes and a maximum carbon footprint threshold will gradually be introduced. The carbon footprint declaration will be drawn up for each battery model by factory. Batteries will have to carry a label specifying their carbon footprint and performance class. Once the maximum carbon footprint thresholds have been adopted, the carbon footprint will have to fall below these limits. The methodology for calculating and verifying the carbon footprint will be defined in secondary legislation, but Annex II of the regulation already sets out the essential elements.

Industrial batteries (with a capacity above 2 kWh, with the exception of those with exclusively external storage), electric vehicle batteries, LMT and SLI batteries containing cobalt, lead, lithium or nickel, will have to be accompanied by documentation indicating, for the substances in question, the level of recycled content in the battery. From 2031 onwards, mandatory minimum levels of recycled content will be imposed, with a further increase in 2036. The related calculation and verification methods will also be specified in secondary legislation.

Portable batteries of general use, excluding button cells, rechargeable industrial batteries, LMT and EV batteries must meet the minimum values for the electrochemical performance and durability parameters set out in Annexes III and IV of the regulation.

It also lays down a number of conditions for the removal and replacement of portable and LMT batteries. These are conditions that increase the lifetime of appliances, encourage re-use and reduce waste. Portable batteries incorporated into devices must be removable and replaceable by the end-user at any time during the product's life. Instructions and safety information must be provided with the battery concerning its use, removal and replacement. The regulation provides for a number of derogations from these obligations, including for rinseable appliances and medical devices. Batteries built into light means of transport (including battery cells) must be removable and replaceable by independent professionals. Batteries must be available as spare parts for the equipment they power for at least 5 years after the last unit of the appliance model has been placed on the market. For these two categories of batteries, the software cannot be used to impede the replacement of the battery or its key components.

Finally, stationary battery energy storage systems placed on the market or put into service must be safe during their normal operation and use. This absence of danger must be established in the technical documentation referred to in Annex VIII of the regulation, after batteries have been successfully tested against the safety parameters defined in Annex V, and any safety risks identified and assessed. The technical documentation must also include instructions for mitigating the risks in question.

Aspects of battery safety which are not regulated in the regulation either by a specific requirement or by reference to a particular standard or framework are subject to the general product safety standards set out in the European Regulation on general product safety(link is external)

Labelling, marking and information requirements

The regulation imposes new labelling and information requirements to provide consumers with the information they need to make an informed choice about the battery they buy, and to treat it optimally during and after use. These information requirements are also designed to help professionals in the value chain implement a circularity strategy, and more specifically to enable them to reuse, repair and recycle batteries. 

All batteries will therefore have to carry a label with general information such as battery's category, manufacturing information, capacity, weight and chemical characteristics. Rechargeable portable batteries, LMT batteries and SLI batteries must be labelled with additional information on charge capacity. As for non-rechargeable batteries, they must carry additional information on minimum duration of use for specific applications, and be marked as "non-rechargeable". 

Batteries must be marked with a crossed-out wheeled bin symbol to indicate that they must be collected separately, and if they exceed a set threshold for the heavy metals cadmium or lead, they must be marked with the corresponding chemical symbol.

Batteries will also have to carry a QR code giving access either to their digital battery passport for electric vehicle, LMT and rechargeable industrial batteries, or to the information on the label, the declaration of conformity and information on managing waste batteries for other battery categories. The QR code on SLI batteries should also give access to information on the amount of recycled cobalt, lead, lithium or nickel. 
Stationary battery energy storage systems, LMT batteries and electric vehicle batteries using a battery management system are subject to an additional obligation to provide current information on the condition and expected lifetime of the batteries. The end-user (or a third party) must have access to this information to be able to assess the battery's suitability for further use. The battery management system must also include a software reset function, so that another software package can be downloaded in the event of re-use, repurposing or remanufacturing.  

Digital battery passport

From 18 February 2027, industrial batteries, LMT batteries and EV batteries must have a digital battery passport. Accessible via a QR code, the passport will give access to information on the battery model and specific information on the battery in question. All the information contained in the passport is based on open standards, in an interoperable, machine-readable, structured and searchable format. Access to information included in the passport will be regulated by access requirements and rights. The technical design and operation of the passport are set out in Article 78. 

Due diligence on batterie

The new regulation aims to reduce the environmental and social impact of batteries by making a due diligence policy mandatory from 18 August 2025 for all major economic operators, with the exception of those placing second-life batteries on the market if the original batteries were already on the market or in use.

Economic operators are expected to identify, prevent and address the social and environmental risks associated with the extraction, processing and trading of raw materials such as lithium, cobalt, nickel and natural graphite contained in their batteries, in accordance with international instruments. Economic operators must set up a control and transparency system for the supply chain, including the traceability of upstream economic operators, and provide for a complaints mechanism. Risk management obligations are described in Article 50. The due diligence policy must be included in contracts concluded with suppliers and supported by senior management.  

This policy is subject to external verification and control by a notified body. All relevant information must be made known to downstream purchasers, and economic operators must also publish an annual public report evaluating their policy.  

Management of waste batterie

In addition to the above-mentioned requirements for products, the regulation also contains requirements for used batteries, which are no longer considered as products but as waste. The regulation establishes end-of-life requirements, including collection targets and obligations, targets for the recovery of materials and extended producer responsibility.

The regulation maintains the total ban on the disposal or energy recovery of used batteries. Battery producers must be registered in a national register of producers, which will enable the monitoring of obligations relating to used batteries. They benefit from extended producer responsibility for batteries they place on the market for the first time in a Member State. Producers (or producer responsibility organisations where they are affiliated) are responsible for collecting all waste batteries from the end-users free of charge, regardless of the nature, chemical composition, condition, brand or origin of the battery in question. The same rules apply to the transfer of waste batteries.  

The regulation sets targets for producers for the collection of discarded portable batteries: 63% by the end of 2027 and 73% by the end of 2030. For LMT batteries, it adds a specific collection target of 51% by the end of 2028 and 61% by the end of 2031. Targets for recycling efficiency and recovery of materials will be gradually introduced from 2025, to ensure that valuable materials such as cobalt, lithium, copper, lead and nickel are not lost, but can contribute to a circular economy.  

As waste regulations in Belgium are the responsibility of the regions, we advise you to contact the regional authorities for further information or questions. 

Conformity assessment and CE marking

Before placing a battery on the market or putting it into service, manufacturers are required to draw up the technical documentation referred to in Annex VIII and carry out or have carried out the conformity assessment procedures referred to in Article 17.  

Certain requirements of the regulation must be assessed by a notified body, namely carbon footprint requirements, recycled material requirements and the due diligence policy. For the first two requirements, conformity assessment modules D1 or G can be used, while the procedures of Articles 48 and 51 are used for due diligence. Other requirements may be subject to self-assessment. If the manufacturer so wishes, they can choose to have conformity assessed by a notified body.  

A notified body is a conformity assessment body that has been officially notified to the Commission and the other Member States to carry out conformity assessments under this regulation. Conformity assessment bodies carry out calibrations, tests, certifications and inspections to assess the conformity of a product or organisation.  

When the conformity assessment procedure has demonstrated that the battery meets the applicable requirements, manufacturers draw up an EU declaration of conformity in accordance with Article 18, using the format set out in Annex IX.

Manufacturers also affix the CE marking in accordance with Articles 19 and 20, as a proof that the battery meets European requirements. The general principles of the CE marking are set out in Article 30 of the European Regulation on accreditation and market surveillance(link is external). The CE marking must be affixed visibly, legibly and indelibly to the battery before it is placed on the market or put into service. If the marking cannot be affixed to the battery itself, it must be affixed to the packaging or documents supplied with the battery. The CE marking is followed by the identification number of the notified body and, where appropriate, pictograms or marks indicating a special risk or danger.  

Responsibilities of the various economic operators

Manufacturers are primarily responsible for the conformity of batteries. This includes conformity assessment, technical documentation, EU declaration of conformity and CE marking before the battery is placed on the market or used. In addition, they implement procedures to ensure continued battery compliance. If they suspect that one of their batteries is non-compliant, they immediately take the necessary corrective measures and inform the market surveillance authority of the Member State in which they have placed the battery on the market. In addition, each battery must be accompanied by instructions and safety information, and must bear a model identification and batch or serial number, or product number or other means of identification.    

Authorised representatives, importers and distributors must also help to ensure that the battery is compliant, and that it is accompanied by correct and complete information. If a manufacturer, authorised representative, importer or distributor suspects that a battery is not compliant with the requirements of the regulation, they must immediately take the necessary corrective measures and inform the surveillance authority of the market on which it has placed the battery. In Belgium, this notification can be sent to the following address: is external)

Suppliers of battery cells and modules shall provide the manufacturer, free of charge, with the information and documentation necessary to meet the requirements of this regulation. Fulfilment service providers shall ensure that the proper conditions during warehousing, packaging, labelling or dispatching are observed. Economic operators who place second-life batteries on the market must ensure that their activities comply with the appropriate quality assurance and safety instructions and that the batteries meet the requirements of the regulation and all other applicable protection requirements.  

The regulation requires contracting authorities or bodies to take into account the environmental impact of batteries or products containing batteries during their life cycle when purchasing them, in order to ensure that these effects are reduced to a strict minimum. 


The regulation will primarily apply from 18 February 2024, with the exception of a few rules that will apply at a later date. This deadline is set out in Article 96 of the regulation, but be aware: the articles themselves indicate different dates of application for certain requirements. To help you, take a look at the timeline (linked and below). The current Battery Directive will be repealed with effect from 18 August 2025, but certain provisions will continue to apply for a longer period, as specified in Article 95 of the regulation. 

Questions ?

If you have any questions about the application of the new battery legislation, please send them to is external)
If your question concerns the management of used batteries, please send it to our colleagues in the regional authorities:
Walloon Region: Flemish Region: sends e-mail) Brussels region: sends e-mail)

What can you do at home to make a difference

As a consumer, you are responsible for the separate collection of batteries and accumulators marked with the crossed-out wheeled bin symbol, and for handing them in at a collection point close to your home. Batteries are not to be thrown into the household waste, as burning them can release harmful substances. Furthermore, used batteries contain valuable materials that can be recycled. You can find your nearest collection point and further information on collection on the Bebat website (link is external).

Bebat also offers several tips for better use of batteries (link is external):

  • Only buy the batteries you need.  Store new batteries in a cool and dry place, away from humidity and warmth. That way, they will last longer. 
  • Always use batteries until they are completely empty. 
  • When a device is no longer in use or is not used for a longer period of time, remove the batteries. 
  • Avoid exposing your batteries (or a device containing batteries) unnecessarily to sunlight or moisture. 
  • When replacing the batteries of a device, replace them all at the same time. 
  • Respect the polarity (+ and -) and the voltage according to the device specifications.
  • Do not forget to take your batteries out of a device before you dispose of it.