EPR Packaging Germany
Europe and the UK are gradually tightening their EPR compliance, registration, and reporting requirements.
In 2022, we observed Germany and France leading the way in harmonizing national legislation with the basic principles of the Waste Framework Directive.
This is the Extended producer responsibility(EPR) conception which is based on the ‘polluter pays’ principle.
The Digital marketplaces and platforms, online retailers, and those selling products over the internet acquired obligations under the EPR now.
In Germany, this is regulated through the Verpackungsgesetz (Packaging Act).
The Zentrale Stelle Verpackungsregister (Central Agency Packaging Register – ZSVR) keeps records about the responsible person and packaging volumes reports placed on the German market.
What kind of changes enter into force on 1 July 2022 for the German market?
- If you fill with goods and place them on the German market for the first time on a commercial basis, you must either by 1 July 2022 register with the LUCID Packaging Register and provide details about your packaging types and brand names;
- Final distributors of service packaging have to pay for the recycling of their packaging;
- From 1 July 2022 electronic marketplaces (eBay, Amazon, Etsy, etc.) will be required to check if the retailers using their platforms to sell goods have fulfilled statutory obligations:
– Register in the LUCID Packaging Register;
– Comply with the system participation requirement.
- If they have not, the marketplaces must no longer enable them to distribute their goods. A similar provision will enter into force for fulfillment service providers.
Who is under obligation?
The Verpackungsgesetz uses the collective term ‘producer’. What it means, however, is actually any party who is the first to fill packaging with goods – or the first to place filled packaging on the German market (importer) – where that packaging typically accumulates as waste with private final consumers.
Examples of the producers
- Online shop operators;
- Marketplace traders;
- Stationary dealers;
What does it mean to a final consumer?
A final consumer is someone who does not go on to sell the goods in the form delivered to them. ‘Private final consumer’ means private households and sources of waste generation comparable to them.
Examples of comparable sources of waste generation: are restaurants, hotels, museums, etc.
What obligations are under Packaging Act?
- Registration in the ZSVR’s LUCID Packaging Register;
- Participation in the systems;
- Volume reporting;
- Submit a declaration.
How to get a LUCID number?
Each Producer must register in the ZSVR’s LUCID Packaging Register, with master data and brand names. The LUCID Packaging Register is public. The registration is online and free.
In order to register, the following registration/master data needs to be provided:
- Producer name and address;
- Brand names under which packaging is placed on the market;
- Contact information for the producer (phone number, postcode);
- Name of a designated person/additional contact person where applicable;
- National identification number (e.g. commercial register number);
- Declaration of system participation, or declaration of participation in a so-called sector-specific solution.
After registration, the Producer received a LUCID number.
What does it mean to participate in the systems?
That means the Producer must contract with one of some companies approved by the competent state authorities (the system operators).
These systems collect the packaging from private final consumers nationwide. Systems are responsible for the recycling of the packaging.
There is no minimum threshold concerning the system participation requirement.
System operators charge license fees for participation.
The size of the license fees depends on the type of packaging and the volume of the declared packaging and usually starts from €25 per year.
How to prepare and submit EPR reports?
The Producer reports to the ZSVR concerning packaging volumes placed on the market.
Volume reporting the following figures need to be determined:
- Categorizing material types: сardboard, paper, cardboard, glass, plastics, ferrous metals, aluminum other metals, beverage carton composites, another composite packaging, other material;
- The weight of a piece of packaging;
- The total weight.
The producer’s volume reports are provided to a system and the Zentrale Stelle Verpackungsregister (Central Agency Packaging Register – ZSVR).
These are duplicate reports in the purest sense.
What is the reporting cycle for reporting data?
The reports are provided per year or more frequently (e.g. quarterly or monthly).
As a rule, the client provides the System Operator with a preliminary report (annual forecast) no later than August 15 of the current calendar year.
The client submits an annual report by March 31 of the year following the reporting year.
In what cases should you apply to submit a declaration of completeness?
Producers are required to submit a declaration of completeness for the previous year once the packaging subject to system participation placed on the German market in the previous calendar year reaches or exceeds at least one of the following three volume thresholds.
- Glass: 80,000 kg;
- Paper, paperboard, and cardboard (PPC) in total: 50,000 kg;
- Ferrous metals + aluminum + plastics + beverage cartons + other composites (lightweight packaging) in total: 30,000 kg.
ZSVR also has the power to require at any time that a declaration of completeness be provided, even if the thresholds are not reached.
The declaration of completeness must be submitted electronically, along with the audit confirmation and the related audit report provided by the registered auditor, to the ZSVR in LUCID.
The declaration of completeness for the previous year must be submitted by 15 May.
What sanctions do you have to expect if you do not meet the requirements of the new packaging law?
If you do not comply with your registration obligation or report incorrect quantities, you are acting improperly and must expect a fine of up to €200,000. There is also the risk of warnings from partners.