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What sellers need to know about the German battery law(BattG)

Among all EU countries, Germany has one of the highest requirements for product compliance. Some products that meet the EU product compliance directives are sold to Germany, and they may also need to meet the German requirements for product compliance. The German Battery Law is a regulation that sellers need to pay extra attention to. Today we will explain some of the German battery law BattG that is necessary for sellers to fully understand.

German battery law(BattG) legislative basis

On May 2, 2006, the European Union passed the draft of the New Battery Directive No. 98. On September 6th of the same year, the new battery directive 2006/66/EC came into effect, and the original battery directive (91/157/EEC) and its revised provisions (98/101/EC and 93/86/EEC) are revoked. All member states must convert the new battery into national legislation before September 26, 2008.

German battery law(BattG) effective time

The original “Battery Law” came into effect in Germany on December 1, 2009. The law regulates the sale, return and disposal of batteries and accumulators, and converts the European Directive 2006/66/EG into a national law. On November 9, 2020, the first law to amend the Battery Law (BattG) was published in the Federal Law Gazette and became effective on January 1, 2021. The new BattG regulates the placing on the market, recycling and environmentally friendly disposal of batteries and accumulators in Germany.

The purpose of the German battery law(BattG)

The purpose of BattG is to increase the percentage of batteries and accumulators returned because they not only contain valuable raw materials but also substances that are harmful to the environment and health. The law should expand manufacturers’ responsibilities for the batteries and accumulators they put on the market to cover the entire life cycle of their devices. Therefore, it requires manufacturers, distributors, or importers of batteries and accumulators to contribute to the disposal costs of these batteries (the responsibility of their products and the responsibility of taking back and disposing of these products). The company is obliged to take back the batteries and accumulators put on the market and dispose of them in accordance with specific environmental standards. For this reason, a battery recycling system has been installed.

German battery law(BattG) registration agency

Germany has also established a register of the Federal Environment Agency (UBA), and the battery law BattG registration will be taken over by the EAR on January 1, 2021. Those registered with UBA before December 31, 2020, have a one-year transition period and need to re-register with the EAR before January 1, 2022.

The battery range covered by the German battery law(BattG)

BattG covers all types of batteries, including non-rechargeable primary batteries and rechargeable secondary batteries (referred to as accumulators or batteries). It also includes batteries built into or added to other products. Batteries are divided into device batteries, industrial batteries, and vehicle batteries.

Who needs to register for the German battery law(BattG)?

  1. For distribution, consumption or use purposes, anyone who puts batteries or devices with built-in or enclosed batteries on the German market for the first time needs to register for the German Battery Law.
  2. When the battery is sold by an unknown manufacturer, the seller will automatically be regarded as the manufacturer.
  3. Companies in the electrical industry are regarded as distributors within BattG and are obliged to comply with the obligations arising therefrom. According to the 14th paragraph of Section 2 of BattG, regardless of the sales method, distributors provide end users with battery registrations within the scope of this law on a commercial scale.

What should sellers do about the German battery law (BattG)?

  1. Register before selling batteries and accumulators.
  2. Indicate batteries containing hazardous substances.
  3. Regularly report the sales volume.
  4. Provide suitable equipment to return the batteries put on the market.
  5. Ensure that the product is disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner.
  6. Before placing the battery on the market, the battery manufacturer distributor must register with the brand and the respective battery type.

What are the consequences if you do not comply with the German battery law(BattG)?

  1. The product is removed by e-commerce platform such as Amazon
  2. Starting from January 1, 2021, anyone who intentionally or negligently violates BattG’s regulations is a crime.
  3. If the distributor violates the circulation prohibition in Article 3(4) of “BattG”, a fine of up to 100,000 Euros may be imposed.

The German battery law(BattG) is a directive for all products containing batteries. The new battery law in 2021 is more stringent. If the product is sold to the EU, sellers must register and declare the German battery law to meet the German product compliance requirements.