When producing battery-powered products as the importer you are mainly responsible for the safety and compliance of the batteries (and products in general) coming into your market (it’s also possible that the manufacturer may share responsibility if this is included as a clause in your manufacturing agreement.
Assuring that your batteries comply with the necessary safety standards is a step in the right direction, and in order to do so, you need to know which standards apply to your market.
General battery standards
Here are a number of the standards that cover both primary and secondary batteries. If you aren’t including primary batteries as a part of your product or are a battery manufacturer, knowing the standards regarding primary cells are less crucial.
- The EU Battery Directive 2006/66/EC regulates the batteries coming into the EU market and outlines the restrictions on the use of toxic heavy metals, recycling, and labeling.
- RoHs 3 this ‘Restriction of Hazardous Substances’ directive controls and limits hazardous substances which can be used in batteries, cadmium in particular, and is generally used globally.
- Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment recycling (WEEE) mandates the treatment, recovery and recycling of electric and electronic equipment and is required for the EU market.
Lithium battery standards
Because Lithium batteries have specific safety concerns, especially secondary Lithium-ion types, let’s pay special attention to some of the key standards to test to here.
- IEC 62133-2:2017 – Safety requirements for portable sealed secondary lithium cells, and for batteries made from them, for use in portable applications – Part 2: Lithium systems – this is a fairly common standard for lithium-ion battery safety including overcharging, case stress, short circuit, and drop testing.
- UN/DOT 38.3 6th Edition, Amendment 1 – Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods – this safety standard must be met if Lithium metal or Lithium ion batteries are to be shipped by air, sea, or rail.
- EN 60086-4 – Safety of primary lithium batteries – a European standard that describes tests and requirements for primary lithium batteries to ensure their safe operation under intended use and reasonably foreseeable misuse.
- EN 62133/UL62133 – Safety requirements for portable sealed secondary cells, such as lithium-ion – a European standard concerned with the tests and requirements for rechargeable lithium cells, such as Li-ion and Li-po batteries.
- ANSI C18.2M, Part 1-2019 American National Standard for Portable Rechargeable Cells and Batteries—General and Specifications
- IEEE 1625 – Standard for Rechargeable Batteries for Multi-Cell Computing
- IEEE 1725 – Standard for Rechargeable Batteries for Mobile Telephones
UL standards call for strict testing for battery-powered products and are mandated for the US market. These standards, relevant to Lithium-based batteries in particular, might be useful.
- UL 1642 – Standard for Safety for Lithium Batteries
- UL 2054 2nd Edition – Household and Commercial Batteries
- UL 2056 – Outline of Investigation for Safety of Power Banks
- UL 2595 – Standard for Safety for General Requirements for Battery-Powered Appliances
- UL 4200A – Standard for Safety for Products that Incorporate Button or Coin Cell Batteries Using Lithium Technologies To learn more about the US standards, read about the CPSC Battery Standards which is an explanation about the standards for the US market (that may also be relevant elsewhere).
- UL 8139 – Electrical Systems for Electronic Cigarettes – with the proliferation of e-cigarettes and vapes, this standard is commonly used and worth being aware of due to the safety concerns about these products which can cause injury easily if problems occur with the batteries.