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Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR): new european obligations for e-commerce sellers who pack orders

By / In EU VAT / June 10, 2022

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The new type of reporting was introduced for online sellers who sell their products B2C. Packaging report – is the report about volumes of the package used in a country during a calendar year. This type of reporting exists in several countries such as Germany, France, Poland, the UK, Greece, Lithuania, and Slovakia. Germany and France stand severally as they have no minimum threshold and every B2C seller (importer, distributor) needs to register.

What year was packaging reporting introduced?

This type of report is obligatory in Germany from the 1st of July 2022. The first reporting period for the German Lucid system is the year 2022. In France, reporting was introduced since 1st January 2022.

What is packaging EPR?

EPR stands for Extended Producer Responsibility. In the EU, the producer of a product has responsibility for prevention, reusability, and recovery packaging. For example, in Germany, this is regulated through the Verpackungsgesetz (Packaging Act).

That means that importers and distributors are responsible for the utilization of packages they used to pack their products. That also means that B2C sellers need to keep records of packaging volumes and make reports for each market.

What a seller needs to do?

  1. Register with a Government agency and get a unique registration number in a System.
  2. Conclude a license agreement with the authorized company (pay membership fees or licensing fees).
  3. Collect all package data.
  4. Submit an annual report.
  5. For big volumes submit a quarterly declaration.

Thresholds for registration

Not every company needs to register. For example, in the UK there are quite a big threshold for registration: annual turnover of more than £2 million and 50 tons of packaging.
But in Germany threshold is zero which means that every seller/importer needs to register from the first sale with packing material.
In France, also there is no minimum amount of packaging material, nor does a turnover limit.

Who is under obligation?

The collective term “producer”. What it means, however, is any party who is the first to fill packaging with goods – or the first to place filled packaging on the National market (importer) – where that packaging typically accumulates as waste with private final consumers or public bodies such as Parcs, Hospitals.

Examples of the “producers”:

  • Online shop operators
  • Marketplace merchants
  • Stationary dealers
  • Producers
  • Importers
  • Intermediaries

What does it mean “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 the Packaging Act in Germany?

  1. Registration in the ZSVR’s LUCID Packaging Register, you would need to register all your brand names if you have several. The LUCID Packaging Register is publicly available.
  2. Several companies are approved for operation in recycling of the packaging across Germany. These systems collect the packaging from private final consumers nationwide. Such companies offer Licensing as a cover for the costs of organizing a system for the collection and disposal of waste from packaging.Volume reporting to the ZSVR concerning packaging volumes placed on the market.
  3. Volume reporting the following figures need to be determined:
    –  Types (categories) of packaging: cardboard, paper, cardboard, glass, plastics, ferrous metals, aluminum other metals, beverage carton composites, other composite packaging, other material

    –  The weight of a piece of packaging
    –  The total weightThe producer’s volume reports are provided to a system and the Zentrale Stelle Verpackungsregister (Central Agency Packaging Register – ZSVR).The volume reports can also be transmitted using an XML file.
    The reporting cycle for data reports.
    The reports are provided at least once year or more frequent (e.g., quarterly or monthly) for big volumes of packaging.
  4. Submit a declaration of completenessProducers 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, 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.

Should I register in each country where I sell goods?

EPR registration is not unified in the EU. Each country has its Government authority for registration and its register. Lovat can help you with EPR registration as well as with reporting obligations. We make it simple with integration with marketplaces.

Penalties for non-compliance with 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 euros. There is also the risk of warnings from partners such as Amazon or eBay.