All batteries must be filled by the retailer before being sold to a member of the public in the UK who does not possess a valid EPP licence.
This change came into effect July 1st 2018.
From the 1st July 2018 it will become an offence to supply an unfilled battery sold with an acid pack to members of the public without verifying that the person has a valid EPP licence.
Only members of the public with a valid EPP licence are allowed to purchase, acquire or possess unfilled batteries with separate acid packs. The retailer must inspect the licence along with the forms of identification specified by the licence.
This does not affect business-to-business selling, so trade sales to other businesses can continue without an EPP license or pre-filling.
If the battery is to be sold unfilled with an acid pack, it is the retailer’s responsibility to check for a valid EPP licence, attach an appropriate warning label and report any suspicious activity. Failure to do so could result in prosecution, a fine and up to 2 years in prison.
The new regulations affect all battery products where acid is supplied in a bottle alongside the battery for the customer to self-activate. It also affects separate electrolyte bottles. Bickers will attempt to add a notice to any battery products that are affected by this regulation, but ultimately it is the responsibility of the seller to the end consumer to enforce this regulation.
EPP licencing is not required for batteries that are supplied with the acid already inside. These are exempt as a filled battery is classified as ‘specific object’.
An EPP license is also not required if selling business-to-business.
Distributors and dealers will not need an EPP licence providing they are acquiring, importing, possessing or using sulphuric acid for purposes connected with their trade or business, although they may be asked to provide evidence of this and explain the intended use of the chemicals.