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Cablegate: Spain On Eu Battery Directive

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

161013Z Dec 04

UNCLAS MADRID 004728

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT PASS TO PENELOPE NAAS, DON WRIGHT, AND LEE
ZACHOS (CABLE CODE 4211/MAC/OEURA)

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EIND ETRD SENV SP
SUBJECT: SPAIN ON EU BATTERY DIRECTIVE

REF: SECSTATE 259043

1. ESTHOFF discussed reftel December 15 with Environment
Ministry Waste Prevention Deputy Director General Juan
Martinez Sanchez, requesting answers to the five specified
questions. Martinez Sanchez provided the following responses
(keyed to the five questions):

-- Until December 8, 2004, Spain had placed a reservation on
Article 4 of the draft EU Battery Directive. The reservation
was related to concerns about prohibiting the use of cadmium
in batteries used in emergency light and alarm systems. This
reservation was lifted on December 8, 2004. In Martinez
Sanchez's words, "Spain now morally supports" the prohibition
of lead/cadmium/mercury batteries. However, Spain does not
feel so strongly about the issue that it would block an EU
consensus position in favor of a reinforced
collection/recycling (vice prohibition) scheme.

-- Spain does not have national legislation or regulations
in place regarding the collection and disposition of used
batteries and thus has no national collection system in
place. Spain plans to adopt a national collection system
"shortly."

-- Regarding eventual collection targets, Spain hopes to
adopt a national collection system that, following a ten-year
phase in period, would capture at least 60 percent of used
batteries.

-- As for the financing of eventual collection, Spain
believes that battery producers/importers should assume all
costs for the future national collection system. Such
financing would be consistent with Spanish Law 10/96 on waste
management.

-- The Spanish Environment Ministry has not/not assessed the
impact the draft EU Battery Directive would have on domestic
appliance and battery producers. Spain has only one
manufacturer of portable batteries and this company makes
no/no nickel-cadmium batteries.

2. COMMENT: Spanish law permits individual Spanish regions
to adopt voluntary battery collection/recycling schemes.
Such a scheme is in place in Madrid and several other regions.
MANZANARES

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