How will the EU’s proposed new rules on batteries affect cannabinoid vapes?

Industry has been under growing pressure in recent times over its effect on the environment and is increasingly affected by sustainability laws. The EU might be seen as a leader in this area, and while new regulations are likely to have a major impact on businesses of all kinds operating in Europe, they may also be setting a trend for other jurisdictions.

The upcoming revision of the regulation of batteries in the EU, particularly Article 11 of the draft Battery Regulation, seeking to upgrade the Battery Directive, may well have a significant impact on the cannabis-based vaping devices industry.

The European Commission put forward its proposed new regulatory framework for batteries in December 2020. The suggested update would establish mandatory sustainability and safety requirements for all batteries placed on the EU market. The requirements would cover the whole life cycle of batteries, potentially including those used in CBD or cannabis-based vaping devices. The proposal is currently going through the EU lawmaking process.

Article 11 of the draft specifies that “portable batteries incorporated in appliances shall be readily removable and replaceable by the end-user or by independent operators during the lifetime of the appliance if the batteries have a shorter lifetime than the appliance, or at the latest at the end of the lifetime of the appliance”.


What is meant by a ‘portable battery’?

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    However, there would be exemptions for products that must be constantly supplied with power for safety, performance, medical or data integrity reasons and when the functioning of the battery is only possible when it is integrated into the structure of the product. In other words, consumers should be able to replace batteries to prolong the life of devices.

    For the moment, however, the precise implications for the industry are still unclear.

    In the terms of the draft, a “portable battery” is any battery weighing less than 5 kg. However, secondary regulation in the next three-to-eight years, including guidance on the removability and replaceability of portable batteries, will clarify the applicability to the industry.

    While it remains uncertain for now whether the new directive will have a direct impact on the industry, it is likely that it will. The revision of battery rules will bring with it, too, other obligations such as a potential ban on non-rechargeable batteries and specific labelling requirements.

    We should expect more details provided for portable batteries and their impact on different industries over the next few years.

    Dmytro Korchahin CannIntelligence staff

    Dmytro Korchahin

    Senior legal analyst
    Dmytro holds a masters degree in International and European Union Law from Vilnius University, Lithuania. He also has a masters in law from the Yaroslav Mudryi National Law University, Ukraine and in the management of foreign economic activity from V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University, Ukraine. In 2019 he completed a four-month Erasmus+ exchange programme at the University of Barcelona, Spain. He started his PhD studies in EU environmental law at Vilnius University in 2021.