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BERR appoints batteries enforcement authority

The Business and Economics Minister, Ian Pearson, has appointed the National Weights and Measurements Laboratory (NWML) as the body responsible for enforcing the Batteries Regulations.

The NWML is an executive agency of the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills. It has operated on a net running cost agency basis since April 1996.

Pearson said: "Building on its experience and success in enforcing similar environmental product legislation, NWML will have an important role to play in ensuring that anyone wishing to place new batteries on the UK market complies with this legislation."

NWML will ensure that sellers of new batteries and appliances meet the terms of the regulations, which include:

  • material prohibitions: restrictions on the use of mercury and cadmium in batteries;
  • labelling to aid recycling: crossed out wheeled bin symbol and chemical symbol marking (mercury, cadmium and lead);
  • placing on the market: Batteries that do not meet the requirements of the Regulations must be prohibited from sale or withdrawn from the market; and
  • removal of batteries: Appliances must be designed in such a way that waste batteries can be easily removed and recycled.

The announcement comes after a number of battery stakeholders have voiced concerns over the Government's second consultation document on batteries. Last week, G&P Batteries director Michael Green told MRW that battery compliance schemes needed an umbrella body to guide them through the regulations (see MRW story).

NWML chief executive Peter Mason said: "We are now in a position to deliver a wider scope of environmental protection in the UK by associating this new enforcement remit with our already established Restriction of Hazardous Substances enforcement delivery."

The battery consultation ends on 13 February 2009.

Image: Business and economic minister Ian Pearson

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