The Central Government has announced amendments to the Battery Waste Management Rules. These updated rules are now referred to as the “Battery Waste Management (Amendment) Rules, 2023.”
The amendments will come into effect on 25th October, 2023, and they bring several key changes to the existing regulations in the Battery Waste Management Rules of 2022.
Key Amendments to the Battery Waste Management Rules:
- Definition of “Battery”: The definition of “Battery” has been updated to include both new and refurbished cells or batteries, including accumulators that serve as a source of electrical energy generated by the direct conversion of chemical energy. This definition also encompasses disposable primary or secondary batteries.
- Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR): Producers are now obligated to adhere to Extended Producer Responsibility for the batteries they introduce into the market. This responsibility includes ensuring the recycling or refurbishing of waste batteries in line with Schedule II of the rules.
- Registration: Producers must obtain registration from the Central Pollution Control Board through an online centralized portal. The registration certificates issued by the Board are now valid until canceled or withdrawn.
- Reporting: Producers are required to submit annual returns to the Central Pollution Control Board detailing pre-consumer waste batteries generated during manufacturing, assembling, or importing batteries.
- Recycling and Refurbishing Targets: Producers are mandated to meet collection, recycling, and refurbishment targets specified in Schedule II for batteries or battery packs available in the market, including those they use for their own purposes.
- Electronic Trading Platform: The rules allow for the establishment of one or more electronic trading platforms for the sale and purchase of Extended Producer Responsibility certificates. These platforms are to be regulated as per guidelines issued by the Central Pollution Control Board.
- Relaxation of Timelines: The Central Government may, by order, relax the timelines for filing returns by producers, recyclers, and refurbishers for up to nine months to facilitate effective implementation of the rules.
These amendments aim to ensure the sustainable production of batteries and improve waste management practices. The rules emphasize environmental responsibility and compliance with Extended Producer Responsibility targets.