Batteries responsibilities for business

Batteries business regulations


Different types of business are affected by batteries regulations including:

  • producers, ie anyone placing batteries on the United Kingdom market on a professional basis - this can be loose or within electrical and electronic equipment
  • distributors and retailers
  • recyclers and exporters of waste batteries

To understand your responsibilities you need to know if your business is classed as a battery producer or a battery distributor. Be aware that it is possible for you to be both a producer and a distributor.

Is my business a battery producer?

You are a producer of batteries if you manufacture or import batteries or appliances containing batteries and place them on the UK market for the first time, including:

  • businesses with a UK presence that import batteries into the UK and then sell them wholesale in the UK
  • businesses with a UK presence that manufacture or import products which include batteries (such as laptop computers) into the UK and then sell them in the UK
  • UK battery manufacturers that sell to the general public or retailers

Examples of businesses that aren't producers include those that:

  • import batteries into the UK and then sell them overseas without placing any on the UK market
  • buy batteries wholesale from another business that has already placed the batteries on the UK market

Is my business a battery distributor or retailer?

The regulations place obligations on distributors, ie those supplying portable batteries on a professional basis to end users. If you supply 32 kilograms or more of portable batteries to end users per year, you must comply with the distributor requirements. This includes retailers that supply batteries to consumers and/or businesses. If you only supply batteries contained within equipment - rather than separate batteries - you do not have to take back waste batteries from end users.

Examples of distributors include:

  • a retailer that sells them to end users - whether a business or the general public
  • wholesalers that supply both to end users and retail outlets

'Supply' includes selling, providing and/or making available portable batteries to end users.

If you are unsure whether you supply 32 kilograms or more of batteries, use an online battery weight calculator.

Is my business a battery user?

Battery users have no obligations under the batteries regulations. However, they should dispose of their waste batteries in an environmentally sound way. For example, the disposal of whole, untreated industrial and automotive batteries in landfill or by incineration is banned.

Treating, recycling or exporting waste batteries

If you are involved in the treatment, recycling or export of waste batteries for recycling you must comply with a number of obligations.