Last reviewed 3 September 2021

Guidance on the definitions, criteria and evidence given to classify portable and industrial batteries has been published by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS).

Available at GOV.UK, this explains the definitions of, and how to classify, the battery types under the Batteries and Accumulators (Placing on the Market) Regulations 2008 and the Waste Batteries and Accumulators Regulations 2009 (England only).

More specifically, the guidance explains when a battery is a portable battery or an industrial battery and if a battery is designed exclusively for industrial or professional use.

It covers automotive, industrial, portable and sealed batteries as well as battery packs.

As the 2008 and the 2009 Regulations do not define a sealed battery, Defra and the regulators have adopted the International Electrotechnical Commission’s (IEC) definition of a “sealed cell”.

The guide also covers the position when a battery is not designed exclusively for industrial or professional use.

While any battery weighing more than 4kg is classed as industrial or automotive, sealed batteries weighing 4kg or less may still be classed as industrial if they are designed exclusively for professional or industrial use.

If a battery producer wants to classify a battery as designed exclusively for professional or industrial use, weighing 4kg or less, they must provide evidence for that classification.

Where the regulator disagrees with a classification of a battery, it will ask the battery producer to provide evidence including written confirmation from the battery manufacturer that its specific model number is designed exclusively for industrial or professional use.