As most of you probably know, the Battery Regulation is under amendment of the European Parliament (EP). This means that the proposal is being changed and adjusted. How it’s changed, is visible at the EP website at https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/TA-9-2022-0077_EN.html . The Regulation’s text can be found at the EC website at: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A52020PC0798&qid=1654589269272
The most important articles to guard for the dismantling industry are 14, 52 and 59. Of course they are not the only ones, but especially article 52 is about the destination of waste batteries. This is the legal current text of article 52: “Operators of waste treatment facilities subject to Directives 2000/53/EC and 2012/19/EU shall hand over waste batteries resulting from the treatment of end-of-life vehicles and waste electrical and electronic equipment to the producers of the relevant batteries or, where appointed in accordance with Article 47(2) of this Regulation, producer responsibility organisations acting on their behalf or to waste management operators with a view to their treatment and recycling in accordance with the requirements of Article 56 of this Regulation. The operators of waste treatment facilities shall keep records of those transactions.”
Amendment 326 adds (apart from adding “authorized” to “waste management operators”):
“Member States may restrict the possibility for operators of waste treatment facilities subject to Directive 2000/53/EC or Directive 2012/19/EU to hand over waste batteries, according to their type, either to producers or producer responsibility organisations, or to another waste management operator. Member States shall ensure that such restrictions do not have an adverse impact on the collection and recycling systems.”
EGARA feels this may be abused to let OEMS or PRO’s be the (only) ones to decide where waste batteries should go and even who will be the ones to decide if a battery is waste or not. EGARA is of opinion that dismantlers are the ones to decide of a battery is waste or not and if we sell it to (authorized, of course) second life producers or to a recycler.
When we spoke with some EC policy officers, they were very clear: It’s certainly not the OEMs (producers) or PROs (EPR organisations) to decide. That’s a relief, but we feel we need to keep a sharp eye on this and not just us, but anyone and any organisation should explain this to his contacts in the EC (European Commission) and EP (Members of European Parliament). The amendment process isn’t over and other stakeholders have their lobby as well.
Reason for the amendment is that all batteries and WEEE (electronics waste) are involved, for WEEE in the past were some gaps that needed to be closed. We from EGARA understand this, we just hope this formulations is not pulled out of context in the future.
Something else that the EC stated, is that no operators are discriminated. ATFs are not mentioned as economic operators, but we are waste management operators.
We could also state that the “state of health” is very important for us as well. We have some indicators to say something about the state of a battery, but showing a customer what to expect from a battery would be best. Making a good decision if a battery is fit for traction, repair, second life or recycling is evident for our business.
Another thing we emphasized is that EVs need to be complete with battery when they enter our yards. We want the complete vehicle and we need to be able to assess the complete vehicle’s systems and functions. We are the dismantlers, dismantling should not happen elsewhere for whatever reason.
We are happy to have these contacts. We only hope that our members have similar contacts and we hope the above mentioned points of view are shared and explained with them as well. As long as the regulation is still kind of fluid, we need to guard our interests. Now is the time, now is the opportunity. We still need to make ourselves heard.