EU Commission amends directive on batteries

The EU Commission has amended its cadmium and mercury restrictions on batteries and accumulators to remove exemptions for certain battery types.

Published in December 2013 in the Official Journal of the European Union, the new directive, 2013/56/EU, will eventually eliminate exemptions regarding the mercury content of button cell batteries, and the cadmium content of batteries intended for use in cordless power tools. Under current EU regulations, button cell batteries with a mercury content of not more than 2% by weight are exempt from the current limit of 0.0005%. In addition, batteries and accumulators used in cordless power tools are exempt from restrictions on the use of cadmium.

Under the amended directive, button cell batteries must generally comply with existing mercury limits as of October 1, 2015, while batteries and accumulators used in cordless power tools must comply with existing cadmium limits as of December 31, 2016.

Read the complete text of the EU’s newly amended directive on batteries and accumulators.