Draft Bill for the New Battery Law Published by BMU

At the beginning of the year, the Federal Ministry for the Environment published a draft bill. The proposal is a first draft for a new battery law (BattG). The goal of the amendment is to ensure the comprehensive take-back and high-quality recycling of batteries and is to come into force on 1 January 2021.

Why is there a new draft bill?

Changing competitive conditions and new requirements at the European level make it necessary to adapt the battery law to the new circumstances.For this reason the German Federal Government is creating legal certainty for all stakeholders.

According to the present draft bill, a solidarity system will no longer exist in the future. This role was an exception and was performed by the former Joint Battery Returns System (GRS). The GRS Foundation was therefore converted into a manufacturer's proprietary take-back system. Since the beginning of the year, only the manufacturers' take-back systems are allowed to dispose spent portable batteries. The five manufacturer-supported take-back systems are now interacting as competitors and are to be flanked by an adapted legal framework. This development makes a revision of the BattG necessary.

What will change?

Detailed information about the changes can be found on the Stiftung EAR website (only in German). The significant elements of the new concept are:

  • Stiftung EAR’s involvement in the registration and granting of Permits
  • Registration obligation for all battery producers
  • New responsibilities and general conditions for the approval of manufacturers' proprietary take-back systems, e.g. all take-back systems for used batteries are approved by a single body
  • Setting minimum standards for containers (for collection and pick-up by collection Systems), e.g. all take-back systems for used batteries are approv, so that a high-quality, safe disposal is guaranteed
  • In the future, manufacturers are to jointly inform consumers in a uniform manner

The draft law was submitted by the Federal Cabinet to the Bundestag and Bundesrat on 20 May 2020, which can still propose amendments. It is possible that additional changes regarding content will be made during the legislative process. The draft bill is the first step in the process. Stay up to date with us!

Source: BMU