Saudi Arabia Notifies WTO: Draft Electric Battery Safety Regulation
On 20 July 2018, the WTO published a Notification relating to the draft Technical Regulation for the General Safety of Electric Batteries.
The draft applies to all batteries and accumulators regardless of size, weight, components as follows:
- electric batteries used to start cars or in the lighting of cars;
- industrial batteries designed for use in electric equipment for industrial use;
- portable batteries in the form of cell batteries or accumulated batteries which are neither car batteries nor industrial batteries and which do not exceed 1 kg and which are used in normal electrical or electronic equipment such as calculators, lamps, measuring devices and mobile phones.
Batteries used in military, securities or space equipment are excluded from scope.
The draft sets contains provisions relating to inter alia:
- restrictions on the use of specific chemical substances (cadmium and mercury) in the manufacture of batteries and plastic packaging for batteries;
- international standards related to the placement of electric batteries on the market (as set out in Annex 1);
- conformity assessment in order ensure compliance with above;
- labeling requirements;
- provision of information to consumers prior to placing products on the market including information on recycling and disposal.
In particular, the draft provides that the trade and/or import of batteries and cell batteries, independently or built-in to a device or vehicle, is prohibited if they:
- contain more than 0.5% mercury; or
- contain more than 0,002% cadmium.
There is, however, an exemption to the above import ban for:
- cell batteries containing mercury at a level less than 2% of total weight; and
- portable cell batteries used in alarm systems, including safety lighting, medical devices and wireless equipment.
The draft, if enacted, will enter into force 6 months from the date of publication in the Saudi Official Gazette.
The WTO Notification deadline is 18 September 2018, 60 days from notification.
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