The Battery Regulation contains rules that apply to those who place batteries on the market or use batteries within the EU. The regulation partly replaces the battery directive 2006/66/EC and must be applied from 18 February 2024. Some requirements apply immediately, and some will apply gradually. The rules in the regulation affect several actors and contain rules which mean that batteries cannot not be placed on the market or put into use if they contain more than a certain content of the heavy metals mercury, cadmium or lead.

The Battery Regulation also contains other rules, including requirements regarding sustainability, safety, labeling and other information requirements. The Swedish Chemicals Agency is responsible for the rules regarding the restrictions of heavy metals. The remaining provisions in the Battery Regulation fall under the responsibility of the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency.

Restrictions of heavy metals in batteries

The restrictions are found in Article 6 and Annex I to the Battery Regulation. It is important to bear in mind that there may be other requirements that batteries are subject to in other regulations. Those requirements apply in parallel with the rules in the battery regulation.

Batteries may not contain the substances listed in Annex I if the conditions for the restrictions listed there are not met.

The new rules mean that the exemptions for the supply of portable cadmium batteries in certain areas of use will expire on 18 February 2024. The mercury and cadmium content limits therefore apply to all batteries, regardless of whether they are integrated into appliances, light vehicles or other vehicles, or not.

As of 18 August 2024, the content of lead in batteries will also be restricted, except for portable zinc-air button cell batteries where the restriction applies on 18 August 2028.

The rules in the battery regulation do not apply to batteries that are used in equipment for military purposes or that are intended to be sent into space.

The Battery Directive is implemented in Swedish legislation by the Prohibition in Certain Cases in Connection with the Handling, Import and Export of Chemical Products Ordinance (1998:944). External link.

The directive also comprises rules on collection, recovery and disposal of used batteries and accumulators.

Find out more on the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency website. External link.

Last published 6 February 2024