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ECHA Takes on New Responsibility to Enhance Battery Safety in the European Market

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The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has embarked on a new mission to bolster the safety and sustainability of batteries within the European Economic Area (EEA). In line with the EU's recent regulatory overhaul on batteries, ECHA will play a pivotal role in identifying and mitigating substances of concern present in batteries or used in their manufacturing processes.

The European Commission, in collaboration with ECHA, will be meticulously scrutinizing substances that may have adverse impacts on human health, the environment, or hinder efficient recycling, ultimately affecting the quality of raw materials used in batteries. This ambitious project will culminate in a comprehensive Commission report, expected to be unveiled by 31 December 2027. The report aims to shine a spotlight on problematic substances and contemplate potential Union-wide restrictions, with ECHA's involvement anticipated to commence in 2024.

One of the main facets of ECHA's role will be to support the European Commission in developing effective restriction proposals for harmful substances found in batteries and waste batteries. These proposals will undergo rigorous examination by ECHA's committees for Risk Assessment and Socio-Economic Analysis. The committees will assess the proposals not only for their efficacy in managing risk but also for their broader societal impact.

This significant shift in responsibility for ECHA comes on the heels of the entry into force of Regulation (EU) 2023/1542, a piece of legislation concerning batteries and waste batteries. The regulation, which was enacted on 17 August 2023, marks a substantial modernization of the EU's regulatory framework for batteries. It also amends Directive 2008/98/EC and Regulation (EU) 2019/1020, while simultaneously repealing Directive 2006/66/EC.


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