The Batteries and Accumulators Regulations have been under review by the government to address concerns over the definitions of portable batteries to specifically address the 'hand-carried' criteria. Guidance on the definition of a hand carried portable battery has now been incorporated into BIS and Environment agency documentation.
The grey area for batteries weighing between 4kg and 10kg being classified as portable has been removed. Under the new guidance an under 3kg threshold has been introduced, meaning that any battery which weighs over 3kg will be deemed not easily hand-carriable and therefore will not fall under the portable battery classification. The BIS and EA guidance for hand-carried batteries is as follows:
- without any further supporting evidence, batteries weighing less than 4kg will be considered to be capable of carriage without difficulty and will therefore be classified as portable
- without any further supporting evidence, batteries weighing over 10kg will be considered not to be capable of carriage without difficulty and will therefore NOT be classified as portable
- batteries weighing between 4kg and 10kg will not be subject to either assumption of classification or non-classification as portable but will be judged on individual cases based on all the available information, this may include but is not limited to weight, shape and designs to assist carriage (e.g. straps or handles)
Individual assessment of batteries weighing between 4kg and 10kg will now judge producer classification which may affect how producers, Approved Battery Treatment Operators (ABTOs) and Approved Battery Exporters (ABEs) view the individual battery. Therefore, any battery weighing above 3kg cannot be hand carried while any battery weighing below 3kg is capable of being handcarried and will therefore continue to be classified as portable - this should encourage more consistent classification between producers, ABTOs and ABEs.
For some producers this may reduce the quantity of batteries which they will have to report on as batteries weighing between 4kg and 10kg may be considered industrial and will not be included in the obligated tonnage.
The limit is likely to come into force on either the 1st of January 2014 or the 1st of April 2014. Defra is yet to fully communicate this plan but an update is expected by the end of October 2013.
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