Since July 1, 2022, the so-called extended registration obligation applies in Germany, which has now come into force with an amendment to the German Packaging Act of 2019. In brief, this means that all traders who commercially place packaged goods on the market in Germany must register in the “Lucid” packaging register – regardless of the respective packaging. This also affects packaging without the so-called “system participation obligation”, such as transport or reusable packaging, for which there was previously no registration obligation. System participation obligation means that a packaging license must be acquired, which, according to German ideas, is intended to ensure that “manufacturers and retailers meet the financial responsibility for the collection and recycling of their packaging”. Basically, however, this is a government fee wrapped in bogus ecological arguments.
The German Packaging Act affects companies based in Germany just as much as companies based abroad if they sell goods in Germany. Anyone who imports or ships their packaged goods to Germany must fulfill their packaging law obligations in Germany. Online retailers who ship from Switzerland to Germany and importers are also affected by this. Wichtig: Seit dem 1. Juli avisiert das novellierte Verpackungsgesetz jedem nicht registrierten Inverkehrbringer verpackter Ware ein mit erheblichen Geldbussen belegtes Vertriebsverbot.
In practice, this means that every company in Germany that places on the market or imports packaging filled with goods and accumulating at the end consumer, including filling material, is obliged to register in the “Lucid” packaging register, specifying the types of packaging. The German Packaging Act, on the other hand, does not affect the manufacturer of unfilled packaging, but only the person who fills a package with goods for the first time. Therefore, anyone who produces packaging in Switzerland and exports it unfilled to Germany is not affected.
What is to be done?
Anyone who is subject to the provisions on the system participation obligation in Germany must register with the Central Packaging Register Office (ZSVR) in the “Lucid” packaging register and, if necessary, acquire licenses for packaging. Which further obligations exist depends on whether the packaging types are packaging with system participation obligation or without system participation obligation. In contrast to packaging without a system participation obligation, packaging with a system participation obligation is packaging that typically accumulates as waste at private end consumers. Private end consumers include private households and, because of the type and
and, because of the type and quantity of packaging waste generated there, also the so-called comparable points of generation, such as catering and accommodation establishments, bakeries, large-scale catering establishments and canteens. Craft and agricultural businesses are also comparable sources of waste if their packaging waste can be collected in typical household collection cycles in emptying containers with a capacity of up to 1,100 liters per collection group.
Nevertheless, the Central Packaging Register Office (ZSVR) offers a clearly structured website with comprehensive information on the fulfillment of packaging law obligations in Germany. Answers to virtually all questions can be found there in the FAQ, in the “Three Steps” checklist and in the “Information & Orientation” section at www.verpackungsregister.org. The entire registration process can be carried out online. Telephone support is also offered at: +49 541 34310555 (Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. – excluding public holidays in the state of Lower Saxony).
A new feature of the Packaging Act is that foreign companies without a branch in Germany can appoint an authorized representative to fulfill their obligations. However, only foreign companies without a branch in Germany can appoint a so-called authorized representative to fulfill their packaging obligations on their behalf. Vielfach sind das Onlinehändler oder Importeure aus dem Ausland. Das können aber auch ausländische Produzenten von Waren sein. This is the case if they import their packaged products into Germany and sell them there in their own name. Information on the authorization can be found here: https://www.verpackungsregister.org/fileadmin/Checklisten/Checkliste_Moeglichkeit_zur_Bevollmaechtigung.pdf
Swiss Packaging Institute