The secure storage of waste batteries and accumulators - paragraph 52 exemption

A paragraph 52 exemption allows the secure storage of waste batteries or accumulators(1) at a place other than the place of production, pending their recovery.

Waste stream(s) permitted

Waste batteries or accumulators specified in Table 11E of Schedule 2, Part 1 of the Waste Management Licensing Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003 (as amended) as follows:

  • EWC 16 06 01*, lead batteries
  • EWC 16 06 02*, Ni-Cd batteries
  • EWC 16 06 04, alkaline batteries except 16 06 03, mercury-containing batteries
  • EWC 20 01 33*, batteries and accumulators2 included in 16 06 01, 16 06 02 or 16 06 03 and unsorted batteries and accumulators containing these batteries
  • EWC 20 01 34, batteries and accumulators other than those mentioned in 20 01 33


The maximum quantity of automotive batteries and accumulators3 that can be stored at any one time is 5 tonnes.

The maximum quantity of portable batteries and accumulators4 that can be stored at any one time is 10 tonnes.


The storage site must have a sealed drainage system and all storage must take place on an impermeable pavement5, under weatherproof covering.

The duration of storage must not be longer than 6 months.


  1. "waste battery or accumulator" means any battery or accumulator which is waste within the meaning of Article 1(1)(a) of Directive 2006//12/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on waste.
  2. "battery or accumulator" means any source of electrical energy generated by direct conversion of chemical energy and consisting of one or more primary battery cells (non-rechargeable) or consisting of one or more secondary battery cells (rechargeable).
  3. "automotive battery or accumulator" means any battery or accumulator used for automotive starter, lighting or ignition power.
  4. "portable battery or accumulator" means any battery, accumulator or battery pack which is sealed; can be hand-carried by an average person without difficulty; is neither an automotive battery or accumulator nor an industrial battery or accumulator
  5. "impermeable pavement” means a pavement in the area where a waste recovery or storage operation takes place and which is capable of containing any spillage of waste received and is connected to a drainage system with impermeable components, which does not leak and which will ensure that:
  • no liquid will run off the pavement otherwise than via the drainage system
  • except where they may be lawfully discharged, all liquids entering the drainage system are collected in a sealed sump

An asterisk against an EWC code indicates that the waste is hazardous. If you handle hazardous waste under this exemption you may have additional obligations under the Hazardous Waste Regulations.

What the legislation says

The full wording of the paragraph 52 exemption can be found in Schedule 2 of the Waste Management Licensing Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003.

Relevant Objectives in relation to the disposal or recovery of waste are given in paragraph 4 of Schedule 3 to the Regulations.

Should you have any queries in relation to your application please contact:-

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