The European Commission’s proposed text targets sustainability and safety, but neglects battery fire safety. The proposed new EU Batteries Regulation is open to public consultation to 1st March 2021, and will then be debated by the European Parliament and Council (Member States) in coming months. The proposal will fix requirements for all batteries sold in the EU, including imports: restrictions on hazardous chemicals, carbon footprinting, obligatory recycled content (minimum % from secondary materials for several elements in the battery), performance and durability, replaceability of batteries in devices and safety.
However, fire is not one of the nine proposed safety criteria (Annex V: it is only mentioned that short-circuiting must not lead to fire). pinfa considers that this is regrettable, given the significant fire risks posed by all batteries, and will input to the public consultation, to suggest that Annex V be amended to address specific fire risks, including heat emission, smoke and toxic gases, extinction and toxicity of extinction waters.
pinfa calls on the fire safety community to contribute to this EU public consultation (open to 1st March 2021) and raise the importance of fire safety as a critical safety criteria for batteries.
Public consultation open to 1st March 2021: https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/better-regulation/have-your-say/initiatives/12399-Modernising-the-EU-s-batteries-legislation
European Commission proposed new Batteries Regulation, COM(2020) 798/3 – 2020/353 (COD), “Proposal for a Regulation …concerning batteries and waste batteries, repealing Directive 2006/66/EC and amending Regulation (EU) No 2019/1020” https://ec.europa.eu/environment/waste/batteries/pdf/Proposal_for_a_Regulation_on_batteries_and_waste_batteries.pdf
Proposed Regulation Annexes https://ec.europa.eu/environment/waste/batteries/pdf/Annexes-Proposal_for_a_Regulation_on_batteries_and_waste_batteries.pdf
European Commission summary Fact Sheet https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/fs_20_2359