September 2023 Newsletter

Newsletter: September 2023

The latest news regarding WEEE, e-waste, battery and packaging compliance

EU Battery Regulation Comes Into Force

European_Commission

On July 28th, 2023, the European Commission published the EU Battery Regulation in the Official Journal of the European Union. The Regulation came into force on August 17th, 2023 and will apply directly in all EU member states after a period of 6 months. Implementation of new requirements is spread over the next several years, though it is recommended that producers begin work on the product design and testing topics as soon as possible.

Many key details have changed when compared to the EU Battery Directive. Most notably, there is now a concrete definition of ‘Portable Batteries’ as 5 kilograms or less. The definition of automotive batteries has been replaced by ‘Starting, Lighting, and Ignition’ batteries while adding separate definitions for ‘Light Means of Transport’ and ‘Electric Vehicle’ batteries.

Some requirements are specific to the type of battery, reflecting the use and life cycle of the battery types. However, all batteries will need to meet the first deadlines through complying with updated technical documentation and labeling requirements to continue selling products on the EU market.

The Commission will adopt delegated and implementing acts under the new Batteries Regulation beginning in 2024 to detail remaining requirements and provide guidance to member states. Please contact Accerio to assess the impact of the EU Battery Regulation on your products and EPR obligations.

Accerio Sponsorship of PSI EPR Forum

Accerio was a Sponsor of the Product Stewardship Institute (PSI) 2023 US Product Stewardship Forum held in September. This event, which was attended by Accerio’s dedicated North American EPR legislative team, brought together a diverse group of stakeholders to discuss the USA EPR landscape. We were able to share our own expertise and knowledge with fellow attendees while meeting US Producers, legislators and other key stakeholders to discuss upcoming legislation and impacts to our clients in the coming years.

A main topic of the Forum was the upcoming US state packaging programs, featuring a panel discussion with representatives from Oregon, Colorado, California, and Maine. They provided details on how each state will structure their upcoming packaging programs. A frequently raised issue at the Forum was the desire for harmonization between states, an issue that has affected EPR success across the US and Canada. As USA e-waste, battery, and packaging programs expand, Producers, states, and consumers would benefit greatly by aligning their definitions, labeling requirements, and targets. Accerio has seen this firsthand through our many years of experience in countries outside the US.

USA EPR has made significant strides over recent years and is growing rapidly. PSI actively tracks each state’s proposals and organizes events like the Forum and webinars to bring together stakeholders. PSI did an excellent job of organizing a successful event; Accerio is proud to have been a sponsor and to have had the opportunity to connect with like-minded people.

Australia Proposed Revision to WEEE Regulations

Repair

The Australian government recently published a discussion paper proposing to revise and extend the current regulatory framework for Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) in Australia. Currently, the scope of EEE is limited to TVs, computers, printers and computer peripherals. Additionally, under existing law producers/importers must meet certain thresholds before they are required to register with a product stewardship scheme.

The discussion paper recommends:

  • expanding the scope of EEE products to all small electronic and electrical equipment found in homes and small businesses, which would also cover solar photovoltaic (PV) systems.
  • tasking the Australian government with developing a product stewardship scheme for obligated EEE products and their embedded batteries. They are proposing that a unit threshold model for obligated EEE products still apply.

The Department of Climate Change, Energy, and the Environment and Water (DCCEEW) hopes to make a formal recommendation of proposed changes to the Government by the end of 2023. DCCEEW mentioned in a webinar earlier this year that legislation could be in place by the end of 2025 should the government decide to move forward with the legislative changes.

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