Extended producer responsibility for packaging in Belgium
In accordance with the Belgian Single-Use Plastic Products Regulation, which became effective on January 1, 2023, producers and importers of specific single-use plastic packaging and items are required to cover the expenses associated with widespread public waste collection and cleanup by participating in an Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) system.
What the package includes
In general, the packaging category includes quite a few different components, and below are a few examples:
- Combined packaging made of different materials
- Paper packaging for liquids
- Transportation packaging
- Bags for transportation
- Reusable packaging
- Special packaging
And other components and related categories to the above.
Who must register
Every company or manufacturer engaged in the sale or manufacture of products that include packaging must register for EPR. The rules apply to both companies located in Belgium and those importing goods into the country.
Any company operating in the Belgian market and using over 300 kg of packaging is obligated to sign up for the recycling program and provide yearly reports on the amount of packaging they use. Failure to comply may result in the government imposing fines on these companies.
EPR registration procedure in Belgium
Companies are required to register with Interregional Packaging Commission (IRPC) of Belgium in order to report the quantities of packaging used and recycling percentages.
However, a manufacturer can apply and register with a producer responsibility organization, and then the reporting will be handled by that company.
- First of all, the company needs to register on the ABM website and sign an agreement.
If the company’s packaging is both household and industrial, it will have to register with two different recycling organizations.
- Next, it needs to pay a membership fee.
- If the company has been operating on the market for more than 5 years, the client will have to pay a fixed amount for the previous years on the market.
- Submit a report with the number of packaging
- Pay for the number of packages.
The above are fairly simple registration steps, but failure to comply with these recommendations will result in significant sanctions in the future.
Companies are not required to appoint a representative for registration and compliance with the EPR rules.
The annual declaration deadline is consistently set for February 28th, covering the packaging you introduced to the market in the preceding year. To clarify, need to submit the declaration for the packaging placed on the market in 2023 no later than February 28, 2024.