Italy: Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for packaging
The EPR framework in Italy, mandated by the Legislative Decree of April 3, 2006, addresses environmental concerns, particularly in Title 2 of Part 4, which pertains to Packaging Management. In a significant development, amendments were introduced in October 2020, with a specific focus on the handling of biodegradable and compostable plastic packaging in its end-of-life phase. These changes demonstrate a commitment to responsible packaging management and environmental conservation.
Who bears the responsibility in Italy?
Registration is not mandatory for foreign companies but can be done voluntarily.
The Packaging Act and its associated regulations apply to everyone:
- Vendors of empty packaging
- Online seller
What constitutes packaging according to the Packaging Act of Italy?
- Paper and cardboard;
- Eco-friendly and compostable plastic.
No lower limits exempt the individual introducing packaged products from the obligations – even a single product item.
Producers’ Responsibilities for Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) in Italy
The producer must register with the relevant authority to obtain the packaging registration number:
- Producers must register with the Register of national producers’ established by the Italian Ministry of the Environment for the protection of the territory and the sea.
- The producer must conclude a contract with the eco-operator to manage packaging.
2) Fee Payments
- The producers are obliged to make eco-contributions corresponding to each type of material.
- The EPR fees are determined based on each material, the corresponding fee level, and the unit weight per material of the supplied packaging.
- In special cases, EPR fee declarations are yearly.
- Producers are required to present quarterly declarations in the first year.
- From the second year onwards, declarations can be annual, quarterly, or monthly depending on the total EPR fee declared by material the previous year.
The producer must appoint an authorized representative based in Italy to fulfill the packaging law requirements on the producer’s behalf.
- The deadline for submitting the yearly report in Italy is 20 January in the year following the reference year.
- Quarterly declarations (20 April, 20 July, 20 October, 20 January) relating to the three months prior to each deadline.
- Monthly declarations (by the 20th day of the month following the reference month).
Sanctions in case of violation
- The government authority will enforce fines of €5,000 for producers who are not registered in the system and fines ranging from €15,000 to €46,500 for producers who fail to participate in the Packaging Material program.