Batteries and accumulators

Batteries and accumulators have to be safe, and the amount of heavy metals they contain must be within specified limits. Batteries and accumulators must be marked with a separate collection label. If a battery or an accumulator contains mercury, lead or cadmium, it has to bear a label that indicates the use of these heavy metals. The capacity of an accumulator must also be indicated with a label.

Producer responsibility applies to batteries and accumulators. Environmental requirements concerning batteries and accumulators are based on the Government Decree on Batteries and Accumulators and the Waste Act, capacity labelling requirements are based on a Commission Regulation, and safety requirements are based on the national Electrical Safety Act (see the Electrical safety – LVD page on


The scope covers all types of batteries and accumulators, regardless of their shape, volume, weight, material composition or use.

The following are excluded from the scope:

batteries or accumulators of equipment intended for military purposes or the monitoring of national security interests
batteries or accumulators of equipment designed to be sent into space.

Restricted substances

Batteries and accumulators may contain no more than 0.0005 % of mercury by weight.

Portable batteries or accumulators may contain no more than 0.002 % of cadmium by weight.

Portable batteries or accumulators include regular batteries, button cells and mobile phone batteries.

The cadmium limit does not apply to the batteries of the following devices:

  • emergency and alarm systems
  • emergency lighting
  • medical devices.


The manufacturer, importer or seller must ensure that batteries and accumulators have the necessary markings:

  • a separate collection label
  • chemical symbol Hg for mercury, Cd for cadmium or Pb for lead, if the battery or accumulator contains any of those metals
  • an indication of capacity in case of portable and automotive batteries and accumulators.

The markings must be visible, legible and indelible. The markings need to be affixed to the battery or accumulator, but may be on the packaging, if the battery is very small. For further requirements on the separate collection labels and chemical symbols, including size, refer to the annexes of the national Batteries and Accumulators Decree. 

For more detailed capacity labelling requirements, refer to the Annexes of Regulation EU No 1103/2010.

Producer responsibility

Producer responsibility obligations apply to batteries and accumulators. The manufacturer or the company that imports the battery or accumulator to Finland is liable for the costs of the waste management of its products when they are discarded. In Finland, matters related to producer responsibility are managed centrally by the Pirkanmaa Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment.