Motorcyclists unaware of new battery rules

New motorbike battery laws, effective 1 July, see the most common type of motorbike battery, a ‘dry battery’, become illegal to buy or sell unless customers have a valid Explosives Precursors and Poisons (EPP) licence. The licence costs £39.50.

Most motorbike batteries that are currently sold come with a separate acid pack and are known as ‘dry batteries.’ The alternative, ‘wet batteries’ are pre-filled with acid, fully charged and ready to ride. Customers do not require a licence to buy a wet battery.

To comply with these safety measures motoring retailer Halfords has begun to withdraw all dry batteries from all of its stores and online from this week.

Halfords spokesperson Ella Colley said:  “It is important everyone quickly gets to grips with the changes to the law, and that all retailers and garages do a good job of explaining them so motorcyclists don’t get caught out. We believe that most customers are unlikely to apply for an EPP licence to buy a battery and so have changed our range to wet batteries to save them time and money. Our wet batteries will be filled, charge and ready to fit for motorcyclists ready to ride off on.”

The move has come about because sulphuric acid has been reclassified as a regulated substance. From 1 July customers wishing to acquire or purchase sulphuric acid in concentrations of more than 15 per cent will need a valid EPP licence. From November 1st 2018 it will become an offence to possess or use sulphuric acid at concentrations of over 15 per cent, without a valid EPP licence. Wet batteries are exempt from this legislation as a filled battery is classified as a ‘specific object’.

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