The Packaging Act has been in force since 1.11.2019 already. It aims to reduce or avert the effects of packaging waste on the environment. To this end, various requirements have been placed on packaging producers. A producer is anyone who places the packaging on to the market on a commercial basis for the first time.
Please note: Therefore, those who fill or use the packaging as such, for the first time, are deemed to be producers. Those who import packaging on a commercial basis are also regarded as producers.
Extensive registration requirements in the packaging register have been placed on the producers of packaging. Producers are generally obliged to register in the LUCID Packaging Register and, depending on the type of packaging, participate in a dual system if their packaging accumulates as waste with final consumers.
Example: This means that, for example, an online retailer that sells a product on a commercial basis and sends it to the customer has to be registered in the Packaging Register. If the retailer fails to comply with this requirement, then there is not only the risk of a fine but also, potentially, a costly warning letter issued by a competitor.
The respective obligations apply not only to shipment packaging, but also to packaging in which the goods leave the production facility for the first time. The registration obligation is therefore very wide-ranging and affects nearly all those who are acting on a commercial basis insofar as this involves goods being packaged.
Furthermore, producers and distributors of so-called packaging that is subject to system participation are like-
wise obliged to
- participate in a dual system,
- submit packaging data to the Packaging Register and,
- if necessary, file a declaration of completeness.
Amendments to the Packaging Act
Since many of those acting on a commercial basis have, in recent years, been ignoring the requirements specified in the Packaging Act, it has now been adjusted via the amendment of 3.7.2021. Following a transition period and starting from 1.7.2022, distributors of transport packaging as well as final distributors of service packaging will also have to be registered in the LUCID Packaging Register.
Please note: This obligation will thus affect, for example, bakery stores that hand out disposable coffee cups or packaging for bread rolls.
Furthermore, final distributors of packaging will have to take appropriate measures to inform final consumers about the ways that the packaging can be returned and the purpose of these. In addition, operators of electronic marketplaces (Ebay, Amazon etc.) will be obliged to check if the retailers operating on their platforms are registered in the LUCID Packaging Register and if these retailers participate in a dual system. Should this not be the case then these retailers would be subject to a marketing prohibition.
Recommendation: By amending the Packaging Act, in particular, lawmakers have effectively placed a requirement on all retailers who package goods to be registered in the LUCID Packaging Register. In many cases, these retailers will also be obliged to participate in a dual system. Therefore, all addressees should, if possible, immediately comply with the requirements listed here, otherwise they could face the risk of penalties and warning letters.