As from 1 January 2019, the new German Packaging Act (VerpackG) will replace the current German Packaging Ordinance. For operators of small online shops, particularly, this will entail important questions regarding sales packaging and secondary packaging, transport packaging and packaging materials. But terms like mandatory participation, mandatory registration and the newly created “Central Packaging Registry” need to be clarified. To enable you to stay on top of these issues, we have summarized the most important information here in an easily comprehensible form.
First of all: the new German Packaging Act applies for all distributors who put packaging into commercial circulation in Germany for the first time (referred to as “manufacturers”) – i.e. both for national producers and for importers, online dealers, etc. The act contains some new regulations and duties or their modification. We will be pleased to answer the questions of relevance for you:
In the following:
If you are selling or otherwise putting into circulation goods via your online shop, you have to arrange for your sales packaging and secondary packaging to participate in a dual system. The latter will in return arrange for the packaging to be collected and recovered after use. This is why you have to arrange for your packaging to participate in a dual system (sometimes this is also called “licensing”). You can comply with this “duty of system participation” by registering with Der Grüne Punkt, for example.
You also state the new registration number with the dual system at which you register your packaging. “System participation” for the years as from 2019 will run under this registration number. Important: your packaging is also subject to mandatory participation under the currently applicable German Packaging Ordinance, of course – after all they are already being separately collected and recovered. You haven’t registered your packaging yet? Then use Registration with Der Grüne Punkt, for example.
Almost all the particulars you gave within the framework of your system participation have to be communicated by you yourself directly to the Central Packaging Registry – but at least:
Please note: You have to do this yourself. Because for registration under § 9 VerpackG and for submitting data reports under § 10 VerpackG, no third parties may be commissioned (see § 33 VerpackG)!
By the time the new act comes into force at the latest, you also have to register with the new “Central Packaging Registry”– you have to do this before you dispatch anything for the first time. This is because you are definitely not permitted to put into circulation packaging not properly registered. You can apply for the requisite registration number in good time before 1 January 2019 under www.verpackungsregister.org.
Nowadays, far more packaging are separately collected and recovered than are actually being reported at the dual systems. There are various reasons for this. Many companies, particularly small ones, do not know their duties under the German Packaging Ordinance and the new German Packaging Act. With the new rules, though, it will be easier to reconstruct which packaging have been registered (i.e. are participating in the dual system) and which haven’t.
The advantage is this: the more packaging participate in the dual system, the wider the financial base is – which means the costs are shared among more shoulders, rendering it more affordable for a single company. So in the long run everybody benefits.
The coordinating body here is the newly created Central Packaging Registry. It is an incorporated foundation under civil law, with a remit including the following tasks:
You will find further information about the Central Packaging Registry on the following website www.verpackungsregister.org.
We’re nearly finished now. The systematized procedures for the Declaration of Completeness and the de-minimis limits (§11 Para. 4 VerpackG) remain the same. You will be exempted from the duty to submit a Declaration of Completeness if you have put into circulation less than 80 tons of mandatory-participation packaging made of glass, less than 50 tons of paper, board or cardboard and less than 30 tons of a different material. Thus most companies will not have to submit a Declaration of Completeness.
There are, however, also the following new provisions, which you will have to keep an eye on:
Here you can once again easily trace all the steps you have to keep in mind:
The current legal minimum recycling targets have been increased in all material categories. The take-back system has to prove in the mass flow verification re-port once a year that these targets have been achieved.
Sustainability will be even more worthwhile in future: the dual systems are under the new German Packaging Act called upon to encourage packaging that are particularly amenable to recycling or are produced from recyclates or renewable raw materials. This means that in the medium term calculation of the participation fees will be governed by ecological criteria.
Even today, many packaging can already be designed to meet these criteria. Der Grüne Punkt will be pleased to assist you in regard to recycling-friendly design, product development, and optimization of your packaging, or will advise you on using high-quality recyclates.
The mandatory deposit arrangements, too, will once again be extended. Non-returnable beverage packaging of carbonated fruit and vegetable squashes and mixed drinks with a whey content of at least 50 percent may in future be sold only against a deposit of 25 cents. Moreover, returnable and non-returnable products must be clearly designated as such on the supermarket shelves.