Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Exporting waste batteries

Exporting waste batteries

If you export waste batteries you may need approval to be an approved battery exporter (ABE).

What you must do

Apply to be an ABE

You must apply to either:

  • the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA)
  • the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA).

if you want to be and ABE, in order to:

  • export waste industrial or automotive batteries for treatment or recycling
  • issue batteries evidence notes for exporting waste portable batteries for treatment and recycling.

If you are an ABE, you must ensure that the overseas business that accepts the batteries for treatment:

  • uses the best available technology to treat or recycle batteries
  • complies with all relevant health and safety, and waste management regulations
  • removes all fluids and acids from the batteries
  • stores waste batteries, and the materials that result from treatment, in secure, covered and impermeable areas.

You must ensure that the overseas business that treats or recycles the waste batteries achieves minimum recycling levels of:

  • 65 per cent of the average weight of all lead acid batteries
  • 75 per cent of the average weight of all nickel cadmium batteries
  • 50 per cent of the average weight of other waste batteries.

These conditions apply to businesses that operate in the European Economic Area (EEA) and those based outside the EEA.

Keep records of your battery exports

You must keep records of the total amount in tonnes of batteries that you have exported for treatment or recycling. You must provide the NIEA or SEPA with details of the quantity of batteries you have exported and the amount you received from each battery compliance scheme.

If you plan to partially treat batteries before exporting them you must register as an approved battery treatment operator. You will have to keep records of the total amount of batteries in tonnes that you treat. See the page in this guideline on Treating or recycling waste batteries.

You must provide battery evidence notes to the operators of battery compliance schemes to confirm the number of tonnes of batteries you have exported in a year. You must supply battery evidence notes before 30 April in the following year.

In this Guideline

Businesses affected by the batteries regulations

Identifying different battery types

Substance restrictions and battery labelling

Industrial and automotive battery producers responsibilites

Portable battery producers responsibilities

Portable batteries: distributor and retailer responsibilities

How end users can recycle batteries

Treating or recycling waste batteries

Exporting waste batteries

Battery compliance scheme operators responsibilities

Batteries: Environmental legislation

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NIEA - Apply online

SEPA - Application forms