Laws changed surrounding batteries to help counter terrorism

Published: 05 July 2018

A new law has come into being stating that anyone who wishes to purchase a dry motorcycle battery with a separate acid pack will now require a valid Explosives, Precursors and Poisons (EPP) licence.

The ruling, which came into force from July 1 2018, means that anyone purchasing a battery of this kind without the correct licence could be charged with a criminal offence and comes as part of a larger counter terrorism initiative, known as CONTEST.

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Battery acid packs contain sulfuric acid, which could be used as a precursor to the production of explosives. Anyone who has already purchased a dry battery prior to July 1 must also fill their batteries by November 1 2018, or could also be penalised, should they not have the correct licence. 

The law change will apply to the purchasing of any sulfuric acid with a concentration of more than 15%, as per the Poisons Act 1972. Applications for the qualification are available online at www.gov.uk at a cost of £39.50 to either purchase or renew a licence. Replacing an existing one will cost £25. Amending your licence is free.

The change in the law is expected to have huge implications for the motorcycle battery market, with motoring retail chain Halfords already deciding to end the sale of dry batteries in their stores and online.

A spokesperson for the firm, Ella Colley, spoke to MCN and said: "Halfords has removed dry batteries from sale across its estate. We anticipate that customers will be unwilling to pay for a licence, which in some cases will cost more than the product itself.

"The licence costs £39.50 and batteries start from £22. Whilst we have removed all dry batteries from sale, customers will now be able to purchase the same part numbers (the equivalent product) in a wet (pre-filled and charged) format."

MCN also spoke to James Douglas, who is a Marketing Executive at Yuasa - the UK market leader in motorcycle batteries and the OE supplier to many large manufacturers. 

"The legislation was announced on April 9 and we were aware of the change within a week. We are now going to monitor the market and see how it reacts to the rule change and how customer behavior changes and then react upon that," James said.

Yuasa offer a range of motorcycle batteries

"We think most people aren't going to buy that type of battery. Most people are just going to have theirs filled by a dealer. This is where the dealers come into it because they have the skills to fill these batteries and people are going to rely on that."

The firm also claim that over 75% of their current products sold in either their Yuasa or GS battery ranges are currently sold with a separate acid pack.

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