New battery regulations – will you need an explosives licence?

BMF News 09 10 19

Published on 9 October 2018 by Matt Colley

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Filed under Category: The world of motorcycling

It will soon be a criminal offence to purchase certain types of motorcycle battery supplies without an Explosive Precursors and Poisons (EPP) licence.

Legislation stating that members of the public who intend to purchase sulphuric acid will be required to hold a valid EPP licence came into effect on July 1 2018. From November 1, those in possession of sulphuric acid at concentrations of 15% and above without an EPP licence could be sentenced with up to two years imprisonment and a substantial fine.

Dealers, distributors and consumers will be affected by the new law, which includes the use of battery electrolyte before it is placed into a motorcycle battery.

It is standard practice for motorcycle owners to buy a conventional motorbike battery and fill it themselves with a separate pack of sulphuric acid to save money and increase battery lifespan. However, the new legislation makes this illegal without the purchase of an EPP licence at a cost of £39.50.

The move could disproportionately affect owners of classic motorbikes because the retail price of pre-filled batteries for vintage models is significantly higher.

It is thought that the reclassification of sulphuric acid as a regulated substance is a reaction to the increase in acid attacks in recent years.

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