The German government has adopted and published a new draft amendment to the country’s battery law. The aim of the new regulations is to take into account fundamental changes in the battery take-back market in recent years and to ensure nationwide collection and high-quality treatment of waste portable batteries in Germany.
Landbell Group company European Recycling Platform (ERP), which operates a battery take-back scheme in Germany, has engaged in the stakeholder process and very much welcomes the planned creation of a truly competitive environment for take-back schemes. The current, legally defined two-tier system, which has producer schemes and a basic take-back scheme with different rights and obligations, will be abolished. This change will create a level playing field among schemes and reflect the fact that, since January 2020, the basic scheme has stopped operations and become a producer scheme itself.
Moreover, the text makes clear that online sellers are fully in scope and obligated under the new regulations, which also introduce the possibility for an authorized representative to act on behalf of producers based outside Germany. The text also sets new requirements for producer registration and introduces several new measures, such as modulated fees, in line with Article 8a of the EU Waste Framework Directive.
Finally, the text allows the Federal Environment Agency to delegate tasks like running the producer registry and approving producer schemes to the existing WEEE registry, the Stiftung Elektro-Altgeräte Register. The ministry hopes that bringing the WEEE and battery register under one body will simplify procedures for producers.
As a next step, the draft amendments will be forwarded to the country’s upper house (Bundesrat) for comment. It must then be submitted to the lower house (Bundestag) for final approval.
You can find the draft amendments to the German battery law here.