Types of batteries
The batteries regulations define three types of batteries:
- Portable – Small batteries including those used in mobile phones or remote controls
- Industrial – Includes those used in electric vehicles or in farm fencing
- Automotive – Includes those used to start vehicles such as cars and vans
If you are unsure about the type of battery that you are selling, you can use the battery scoping decision-tree to determine the type of battery.
A battery producer is any person or organisation that either manufactures or imports batteries or EEE incorporating batteries, and places them on the market in Ireland.
You are a battery producer if you do any one (or more) of the following in Ireland (including when using online distance selling):
- Manufacture and sell batteries under your own brand name
- Re-sell under your own brand name, batteries that are manufactured or imported by other suppliers
- You are not a battery producer in this case if the original brand name of the manufacturer or supplier remains on the batteries when you re-sell them.
- Import batteries, on a professional basis, for placement on the market in Ireland
- Export batteries, on a professional basis, to another EU member state for placement on the market there
- You will also be a battery producer in that member state and you will have legal obligations there
Find out more about distance selling.
Important note: If you are importing vehicles with batteries, then you are a battery producer.
Legal obligations of battery producers
There is legislation for managing waste batteries in Ireland. This legislation sets out the rules and the legal obligations for anyone who makes, imports or sells batteries in Ireland. This legislation also sets the rules for the collection and recycling of waste batteries.
The legislation is as follows:
- European Union (Waste Batteries and Accumulators) Regulations 2014. These Regulations are commonly known as the batteries (or battery) regulations.
Download a copy of the batteries regulations
All battery producers must do the following:
- Register every year as a battery producer with the national producer registration body, Producer Register Limited (PRL). You can register on its website Producer Register Limited (PRL). PRL will guide you through the registration process. You must do this by 31 January every year
- Declare, every month, the types and quantities of batteries that you have placed on the market in Ireland. To do this, you must use the WEEE Blackbox. This is a secure online reporting system
- Finance the environmentally sound management of the waste batteries (that is, cover the cost of the safe and legal management of your batteries when they eventually become waste)
- Ensure that batteries being placed on the market in Ireland comply with the Restriction of Hazardous Substances and labelling requirements of the batteries regulations
Important note: If you are placing EEE on the Irish market and the EEE contains batteries, then you are an EEE producer and a battery producer. You will have to meet the obligations that apply to an EEE producer and a battery producer.
Find out more about the legal obligations of EEE producers.
Financing the environmentally sound management of waste batteries
There are two ways for battery producers to finance the environmentally sound management of their waste batteries. You can either:
- Join a compliance scheme such as WEEE Ireland or European Recycling Platform (ERP) Ireland. Compliance schemes provide a compliance service to their battery producer members. They will meet your producer obligations for you. They will charge a fee for this service OR
- Self-comply with the Battery Regulations. Self-complying battery producers must arrange for the collection, movement and treatment of their waste batteries themselves. Learn more on how to self-comply with the batteries regulations
It is important to note that you cannot do both. You must do one or the other.
If you choose to self-comply, the EPA needs to know how you are meeting your legal obligations, therefore, self-complying battery producers must submit the following information to the EPA every year:
- Waste Battery Management Plan (WBMP) – A WBMP looks forward over a three-year period, so you will be required to submit one every three years. It informs the EPA how you will manage your waste batteries and how you will finance this
- Waste Battery Management Report (WBMR) – You must submit a WBMR by the 31 January every year. A WBMR contains detailed information on the quantities of batteries that you, as a battery producer, managed during the previous calendar year
How to submit a waste battery management plan or report
The EPA provides spreadsheet templates for battery producers to submit their WBMP and WBMR. You are required to download the spreadsheet, fill it in and email it to the EPA. The spreadsheets are macro-enabled and contain instructions on how to complete them.
Download the spreadsheet template for a Waste Battery Management Plan or a Waste Battery Management Report to make your next submission.
Important note: The EPA charges a fee to self-complying battery producers. This fee provides for reviewing your WBMP and WBMR. The fee is payable when you are submitting your WBMP.
Useful sources of information
Find out about the legal obligations that apply to distributors of EEE or batteries
Find out about the legislation that regulates WEEE and waste batteries
Find out who is responsible for doing what in the legislation by downloading the booklet: Who does what - WEEE & Battery Regulations
For the WEEE and batteries compliance scheme, check out WEEE Ireland
For the WEEE and batteries compliance scheme, check out the European Recycling Platform
If you are exporting WEEE or waste batteries abroad, then you will have legal obligations. Read more on the website of the National Transfrontier Shipment Office
Find out more about WEEE across the EU on the website of the European Commission