The ACCC has issued a draft determination proposing to authorise the Battery Stewardship Council to establish and operate a national stewardship scheme for managing all types of end of life batteries except for automotive lead-acid batteries and batteries that are currently included in a stewardship or recycling scheme for a period of five years.

Under the proposed stewardship scheme, a weight-based levy would be imposed on imported batteries and used to fund the scheme and a rebate system for service providers responsible for the battery’s collection, sorting and processing. Participants in the scheme would be required to adhere to a set of commitments, including enterprise-to-enterprise contracting requirements. Authorisation provides businesses with legal protection for arrangements that may otherwise risk breaching the law but are not harmful to competition and/or are likely to result in overall public benefits.

The ACCC consider that the scheme is likely to result in public benefits in the form of significant environmental benefits, increased public awareness of battery disposal and re-use, and supporting increased research and development. The ACCC also considers that the scheme is likely to result in some public detriment by imposing trading restrictions for participating businesses.

The ACCC invites submissions in relation to the draft determination by 31 July 2020. Further information about the draft determination and how to provide a submission to the ACCC is available on the authorisation public register at: Battery Stewardship Council.