Jump to content

Producer responsibility of batteries and accumulators

Producer responsibility applies to all battery and accumulator importers and manufacturers in Finland. Producer responsibility applies in addition to batteries and accumulators imported to Finland that are included in vehicles (such as cars, etc.) as well as inside in electric and electronic equipment. Producer responsibility in Finland is based on the Waste Act (646/2011) as well as on the Government Decree on Batteries and Accumulators (520/2014). Based on the legislation, batteries and accumulators are divided to three different categories:

Classification of batteries and accumulators (5.1.2015)

Examples of portable batteries and accumulators include single cell batteries (such as AA and AAA batteries) and batteries and accumulators used in mobile phones, laptops, cordless power tools, toys and household appliances. Automotive batteries are used for ignition and lighting in different vehicles. Industrial batteries and accumulators are, for example, batteries and accumulators used in electric cars and wheelchairs, back-up power supplies and lighthouses. Industrial batteries and accumulators are designed for industrial or professional use only.

Portable batteries and accumulators

Companies importing or manufacturing portable batteries and/or accumulators to Finland may comply with the producer responsibility requirements by joining an approved producer responsibility organisation (PRO). There are two approved PROs in Finland: Recser Oy and ERP Finland ry. By joining a PRO, company (‘producer’) may transfer their producer responsibility obligations for the PRO.

Shops selling portable batteries and accumulators (‘distributors’) in Finland are required to accept waste portable batteries and accumulators from consumers without the requirement for the consumer to buy new portable batteries or accumulators. The PROs on behalf of the producers will take care of the waste management and their expenses from the collection onwards. Distributors are responsible for the possible expenses coming from the onsite collection.

Automotive batteries and accumulators

Companies importing or manufacturing automotive batteries and/or other lead-based industrial batteries and/or accumulators may comply with the producer responsibility by joining a producer responsibility organisation Akkukierrätys Pb Oy.

Companies importing or manufacturing lithium based automotive batteries that may be carried by hand may comply with the producer responsibility by joining a producer responsibility organisation Recser Oy. Such lithium based automotive batteries may be used as an ignition battery, for example, in mopeds, motorcycles, ATVs, scooters or riding lawn mowers.

There is no producer responsibility organisation for bigger lithium based automotive batteries that are used in cars or bigger vehicles as ignition batteries. Companies importing or manufacturing such batteries will need to apply as a single producer to the producer registry or establish a producer responsibility organisation with other similar producer. To be approved to the producer registry, producer will need to organise a country-wide collection network for waste batteries and other required waste management.

Industrial batteries and accumulators

The traction batteries of different electric vehicles are classified as industrial batteries and accumulators. Such batteries are used for example in electric bicycles, hoverboards, electric scooters, electric motorcycles, and electric and hybrid cars.

There are three approved producer responsibility organisations in Finland that also include industrial batteries and accumulators as explained briefly below. Approved producer responsibility organisations are:

  • Akkukierrätys Pb Oy
  • Suomen Autokierrätys Oy
  • Recser Oy

Akkukierrätys Pb Oy operates as a producer responsibility organisation (PRO) for lead-acid based industrial batteries and accumulators. Suomen Autokierrätys is a PRO for traction batteries of electric and hybrid cars and vehicles under the ELV directive as well as for electric buses. Recser Oy has organised a country-wide collection network for industrial batteries that may be carried by hand. Such batteries are, for example, the traction batteries in electric bicycles, electric scooters and hoverboards.

Companies importing and manufacturing larger industrial batteries and accumulators may also join Recser Oy. In this case the producer will report the placed on the market and collected to the PRO. However, the individual producer will need to offer and organise the take back of waste industrial batteries and accumulators they have placed on the market as required by the legislation. Recser Oy has negotiated with waste management operators to create a reception model with which the producer can easily recycle batteries and accumulators as required by law. Recser Oy’s domain does not include traction batteries used in electric or hybrid cars or electric motorcycles in where the battery is integrated to the vehicle and it is not intended that the end-user would change or remove the battery by themselves.

For traction batteries of electric motorcycles that are not supposed to be removed or changed by the end-user, there is no producer responsibility organisation. Companies importing or manufacturing such batteries will need to apply as a single producer to the producer registry or establish a producer responsibility organisation with other similar producer. To be approved to the producer registry, producer will need to organise waste management system for the waste batteries.

Companies importing or manufacturing industrial batteries or accumulators designed exclusively to industrial activities may comply with the producer responsibility by applying to the producer registry as a single producer and fulfilling the legislative requirements.

Published 2016-01-14 at 13:01, updated 2020-06-29 at 17:10