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From July 1st 2018 it will be illegal for a member of the public to purchase a motorcycle battery that is supplied with a separate acid pack without them holding an Explosives Precursors and Poisons (EPP) licence

At BBL Batteries, we supply the most diverse range of Premium Stored Energy Products in the UK, covering every conceivable application.

We also take our responsibilities very seriously when it comes to keeping our customers informed, including changes to legislation surrounding Stored Energy Products.

As a leading stockist and distributor of premium quality motorcycle batteries BBL Batteries wants to ensure that all our customers and indeed any consumers purchasing any of our Motorcycle Brands are aware of the changes concerning the supply of battery acid separately from the battery product. From the 1st July 2018 it will be illegal for a member of the public to purchase a motorcycle battery that is supplied with a separate acid pack without them holding an Explosives Precursors and Poisons (EPP) licence. This will have far reaching effects for motorcycle battery resellers and consumers.

The information contained in this blog will explain the new legislation in full.

What is the new legislation?

Sulphuric acid has been reclassified as a regulated substance. From July 1st 2018 members of the public wishing to acquire, possess or use sulphuric acid above a 15% concentration will need an EPP Licence to do so. This means that it will be an offence to buy or possess an unfilled motorcycle battery with a separate electrolyte bottle without a valid EPP licence, as the electrolyte contains sulphuric acid above 15% concentration.

Why has it come into force?

In responding to recent events and following an industry wide consultation, the government has introduced measures to further control the sale of sulphuric acid which has been reclassified as an explosive precursor. Explosive precursors are chemicals that may be used in the illicit manufacture of explosives.

Which BBL products are affected?

The new regulations affect all BBL products where acid is supplied in a bottle alongside the battery for the customer to self-activate. It also affects separate electrolyte bottles. EPP licensing is not required for batteries that are supplied with the acid already inside. These are exempt as a filled battery is classified as ‘specific object’. The exemption is provided by new paragraph 2 (9) (b) of the Poisons Act 1972: A substance or mixture is excluded if … it is contained in a specific object.

How does this affect distributors and dealers?

It is the responsibility of all distributors, dealers and retailers to ensure they comply with these new regulations. Distributors and dealers will not need an EPP licence providing they are acquiring, importing, possessing or using sulphuric acid for purposes connected with their trade or business, although they may be asked to provide evidence of this and explain the intended use of the chemicals. Businesses do however have an obligation to report suspicious transactions (both business to business and to members of the public), disappearances and thefts of sulphuric acid. This also includes sulphuric acid contained within batteries.

Business to consumer transactions

On July 1st 2018 it will become an offence to supply an unfilled motorcycle battery sold with an acid pack to members of the public without verifying that that person has a valid EPP licence.

Members of the public without a valid EPP Licence

We believe it is unlikely that consumers will apply for an EPP licence to buy a motorcycle battery. Therefore, retailers will need to fill any motorcycle batteries before sale to a member of the public who does not hold a valid EPP licence. Once the battery has been filled it should be charged as advised on the battery to ensure maximum service life and prevent premature failure.

Members of the public with a valid EPP

Licensed Members of the public with a valid EPP licence are allowed to purchase, acquire or possess unfilled batteries with separate acid packs. The retailer must inspect the licence along with the forms of identification specified by the licence.

The retailer must:

1. Ask to see their licence and associated photographic ID

2. Compare the photograph to the customer

3. Verify the photographic ID reference against the ID reference on the front page of the licence

4. Check the product being purchased is allowed as part of the licence conditions (substance, concentration, quantity)

5. Record the transaction details in the table on the back of the licence.

A warning label indicating that it is an offence for members of the public to acquire, possess or use the substance without an EPP licence must be affixed to the packaging. If the battery is to be sold unfilled with an acid pack, it is the retailer’s responsibility to check for a valid EPP licence, attach an appropriate warning label and report any suspicious activity. Failure to do so could result in prosecution, a fine and up to 2 years in prison.

Selling online

For online transactions, the retailer must comply with all the requirements set out by the new regulations

Online selling to members of the public with a valid EPP licence

For all online transactions, the online seller will need to see a digital scan of the valid EPP licence before completing the transaction. The battery with acid pack must then be delivered using a specialist courier who is able to follow the full EPP licence verification procedure at the doorstep before giving the customer possession of the product.

Online selling to members of the public without a valid EPP licence

If selling to members of the public who do not have an EPP licence, online retailers will need to ensure that the filled battery is packed appropriately and labelled correctly. Please note that some types will require additional packaging and special shipping arrangements to ensure compliance with ADR regulations.

How does this affect members of the public?

From July 1st 2018 members of the public wishing to acquire or purchase sulphuric acid in concentrations of more than 15% will need a valid EPP licence. This means that to purchase a motorcycle battery sold with an acid pack a consumer will need to apply and receive a valid EPP licence, at a cost of £39.50, prior to purchase.

From November 1st 2018 it will become an offence to possess or use sulphuric acid at concentrations of over 15%, without a valid EPP licence. This includes bottles of battery electrolyte that have not yet been put into a motorcycle battery.

What are the penalties?

The penalties for possession without an EPP licence or supplying restricted substances without verifying that the member of public has a valid EPP licence can be a custodial sentence of 2 years and a large fine.

Failure to enter transaction details onto the EPP licence or not attaching the warning label has a maximum fine of £500.

Failure to meet the reporting requirements can attract a fine or custodial sentence of up to 3 months.


Brian Jones 18 April, 2018 Reply

Good experience yesterday, Chris ( Clarke ) was very knowledgeable and friendly with a sense of humour - also good price on my lawn mower battery


Paul draper 05 April, 2018 Reply

Excellent service from Chris and came away completely satisfied. Will definately recommend BBL Batteries to everyone, Thanks again for friendly atmosphere.


Ernie and Mary Eva 08 February, 2018 Reply

Thanks to Mike and Ashley, our car battery was tested , found to be exhausted and not holding a charge, and was replaced all very efficiently and quickly and with courtesy and good humour.  Very grateful customers!


Ernie and Mary Eva 07 February, 2018 Reply

Thank you so much Mike and Ashley for wonderful service—efficient, professional and quick in testing and replacing our car battery.  Fun too!
What an amazing array of stock there!
Would recommend this centre any time.


Susan Wilschere 17 January, 2018 Reply

BBL Batteries in Truro was recommended to me by my local garage. I spoke to a gentleman called Mike who advised me on the best battery for my Ford Fiesta. Mikes extensive knowledge and experience was evident on talking to him and the battery price very reasonable.  The fitting service was extremely quick with no fuss. Exemplary customer service from all at the Truro store, I highly recommend this company. Many thanks.


Noah Ball 13 December, 2017 Reply

The guys there are so friendly and happy to help, they have great knowledge and experience. Been a real blessing over the years


Jan Rawlings 30 November, 2017 Reply

I bought a Yuasa battery for my VW Eos after receiving advice over the telephone from a very helpful gentleman.  What made me choose BBL was the excellent customer service which was evident from the start.  The battery was fitted with no fuss and I was confident the job was done well.  Thank you to all concerned.


Connor 23 October, 2017 Reply

Was trying to order a product online but was doing something wrong my end. I telephoned the number from the website and spoke to Wayne , Wayne was more than helpful and made the whole ordering process hassle free and swift , which is rare these days!

Thanks very much for an easy process and keep up the good work


gary dawes 01 October, 2017 Reply

Noticed this depot/branch by chance while going to get a secondhand battery from a breaker. Man who served us had a scientific air about him and sold us a Yuasa battery for 48pounds. This would have cost 97pounds at Halfords or 120?pounds at Kwikfit.
Thankyou, very pleased not to have had to take a gamble off the internet and will tell people about you.


Nigel Cross 06 September, 2017 Reply

We purchased a battery for our car on Saturday morning from your Exeter Branch.
We thought the person that served us was extremely
professional and very pleasant. We would have no hesitation in recommending your company to others.
Thank you for a very nice experience

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