What is the German Batteries Act (BattG)?
The German Batteries Act (Batteriegesetz, BattG) transposes the European Batteries Directive of 2006 on the marketing, return and sustainable disposal of batteries and accumulators into German law. Each EU country has its own batteries legislation, and the BattG is the German law that replaced the previous Battery Regulation (Batterieverordnung, BattV) in 2009. It was extensively revised in 2021.
The main change is the introduction of an obligation for manufacturers and retailers to register: Since 1 January 2021, anyone wishing to place batteries on the German market must register with stiftung elektro-altgeräte register (stiftung ear). This registration requirement replaces the previous obligation to report market participation to the German Federal Environmental Agency (Umweltbundesamt, UBA).
To whom does the German Batteries Act apply?
- It applies to anyone who commercially places batteries on the German market.
- This could be a battery manufacturer, a trader importing batteries, or a company shipping batteries to Germany from abroad.
- A distributor or an intermediary of batteries is also considered to be a manufacturer within the meaning of the Batteries Act, if the original initial distributor or its authorised representative has not (properly) registered.
What types of batteries are affected?
In principle, as an initial distributor, manufacturers must ensure that all types of batteries are taken back and properly disposed of. This includes non-rechargeable (primary) batteries, rechargeable (secondary) batteries (or accumulators), irrespective of whether or not they are device-integrated – unless an exemption applies.
There are three types of batteries:
Join the Noventiz take-back solution for portable batteries with Battery Direct
What obligations apply to portable batteries?
Manufacturers, importers and – in some cases – foreign suppliers are obliged to register with the stiftung ear battery register before offering batteries or accumulators for sale in Germany, or placing them on the German market. stiftung ear provides them with the registration number required for distribution and registration with a take-back scheme.
Register now with the stiftung ear (in German)
All portable batteries must be taken back through a national take-back scheme.
Take-back solutions for portable batteries (in German)
Producers are obliged to regularly report the number of batteries and accumulators placed on the market in Germany. The report on the number of portable batteries placed on the market must be submitted to both stiftung ear and the take-back scheme in question. Customers of Noventiz Battery Direct can simply meet their reporting obligation online via the battery registration portal.
Go to battery registration portal (in German)
Batteries and accumulators must be properly labelled. Producers and distributors are obliged to provide mandatory information to end users. Batteries containing hazardous substances are subject to special labelling requirements, or a ban if certain thresholds are exceeded.
The German Batteries Act provides for different information obligations for each of the parties involved:
- Distributors of portable batteries, for example, must inform consumers that the batteries can be returned to a retailer free of charge. They must also inform final consumers of their obligation to return used batteries.
- Producers are also obliged to provide information on waste prevention in relation to used batteries and accumulators. They must explain the possible effects of the substances contained in batteries and accumulators on people and the environment.
- Take-back schemes are obliged to inform end users about how to properly dispose of used portable batteries, and to explain the reasoning behind the separate collection of portable batteries. They must also regularly inform about themselves, i.e. the take-back schemes, and about existing collection points. Battery take-back schemes meet this obligation by informing about the proper disposal of used batteries and accumulators via the website batterie-zurueck.de. This also aims to increase the collection rate of used batteries and accumulators in the long term.
When batteries, or products containing batteries, are shipped from Germany to users in other EU countries, additional requirements may apply.
How Noventiz can help you meet your obligations under the German Batteries Act
It’s not easy to keep up with all the latest legislation, because it’s simply not the core business of your company. We will keep you up to date with all the changes, so that you can meet your obligations under the German Batteries Act. Benefit from our expertise and support to reduce your time, cost and the risk of receiving a cease and desist letter. We are your one-stop-shop for advice and implementation.
Here’s what we can do for you
Your benefits with Noventiz
- We will register you with stiftung ear
- Sign a contract online with Battery Direct (in German) in just a few minutes
- Good conditions and excellent over-the-phone availability
- We offer additional services that may be of interest to battery producers and distributors in the context of the extended producer responsibility. Take advantage of our comprehensive portfolio of one-stop solutions!
Do you have any questions about your obligations under the Batteries Act?
Get in touch!
Frequently asked questions about the German Batteries Act
The registration process takes several weeks. According to stiftung ear, during busy periods you may have to wait between eight and ten weeks – unfortunately it is impossible to give a more precise timeframe. Producers should be aware of this and plan accordingly.
There is a fee for registering with stiftung ear’s battery register. The main costs for producers and importers are for taking pack and disposing of used batteries. Based on the polluter-pays principle, these costs are payable in advance, i.e. at the time the batteries are placed on the market. There are additional administrative fees and costs for ensuring product features. Distributors may also incur costs for the mandatory take-back of used batteries, storage and transport, as well as administration.
Producers, importers or distributors who violate the Batteries Act are subject to a range of penalties. Administrative fines of up to 100,000 euros or a levy on profits may be imposed. In the area of private law, there is the threat of cease and desist letters from competitors or other parties, or possible legal fees and claims for damages. In general, non-compliance with the Batteries Act will automatically lead to a distribution ban.
Comply with environmental regulations – be sustainable
Managing and recycling batteries and the contained substances are an important contribution to protecting the climate and natural resources. We will be happy to advise you on the requirements and opportunities.