Possible obligated parties

Who is producer of batteries, or respectively those who count as producer, is defined in § 2 paragraph 15 BattG. A producer is anyone who, regardless of the distribution method, commercially places batteries on the market for the first time in Germany. Equal to a producer according to BattG are those who as distributors and commercial intermediaries intentionally or negligently offer batteries that are from not - or not correctly registered producers or from foreign producers whose authorised agent is not or not correctly registered.

Placing on the market means the delivery to a third party for distribution, consumption or use in the course of a commercial activity in return for payment or free of charge. Commercial import to Germany counts as placing on the market. This does not apply to batteries that are demonstrably exported from Germany again. The delivery of batteries made under the brand, or according to special requirements of a client and meant for further delivery to the client, does not count as placing on the market (§ 2 paragraph 16 BattG).

Distributor on the other hand is the party that, regardless of the distribution method, offers batteries commercially for the end user in Germany. Offering batteries means the presentation aimed at closing a sales contract, or giving public access to batteries; this also covers the request to submit a tender (§ 2 paragraph 14 BattG).

Special producer constellations

Starting from the principles portrayed above it is possible for the following special cases to occur.

With battery cells that are only suitable to connect, or respectively, to be assembled in battery packs, the producer of the battery pack  is generally the producer obligated to register. 

If batteries are incorporated into equipment, or added to other products, the producer of the battery can be different from the producer of the equipment, or respectively, the product. If the battery bears the same brand label as the product into which the battery is incorporated, or to which it is added, or if incorporated or added batteries are made according to special requirements from the product producer, the producer of the product is to be regarded as the producer of the battery (§ 2 paragraph 16 clause 4 BattG).

If there is a different brand label to the product, or respectively, the equipment on the battery, the first supplier, or respectively, importer of the battery who delivers for the first time,  is to be regarded as the first who places on the market and as the battery producer obligated to register. But here it is also possible that the producer of the product can be regarded as the battery producer, insofar as only the name of the product is eye-catching on sight and immediately recognizable for the costumers when placed on the market, and therefore the batteries installed in equipment or added to other products are offered under the brand of the other product. 

If batteries are made and delivered under own brand of trading companies, or if the batteries are a special production for a client, generally the first placing on the market is performed by the trading company, or respectively, the client and for them there is a registration obligation as a producer. Thereby it is irrelevant whether the delivering supplier is located in Germany or abroad. This results from § 2 paragraph 16 clause 4 BattG, according to which the delivery of batteries made under a private brand, or produced according to special client requests and which are determined for further distribution to the client, does not count as placing on the market.

Direct import of batteries to be used in one’s own business does not count as commercial import. Even though it may be pursuant to a commercial activity, but for a trade of a commercial nature there would need to be an clearly noticeable activity on the outside, meaning on the market, and especially not only for own utilisation. Rather the foreign supplier is to be regarded as the producer.

Producers that are situated abroad are fundamentally also obligated to register and can do so, even without a branch in Germany. But they can appoint a authorised agent if they do not have a branch in Germany, who then is responsible for fulfilling the legal obligations.

► Important: The decision whether you are a producer according to BattG depends on the specific individual case  and is your responsibility. The information made available to you is to help you evaluate how to determine whether you are a producer. Should you wish for a binding certification whether you are a producer according to BattG, you can submit an assessment application.