German Packaging Act

The current Packaging Act (VerpackG) simply explained

The new Packaging Act (VerpackG) came into force on 03 July 2021,
it has been adapted to the current EU Directive 94/62/EC and applies only in the
Federal Republic of Germany. The Packaging Act replaces the existing
Packaging Ordinance (VerpackV).

The aim of the Packaging Act is to increase recycling rates.
In the following, we explain who is affected and who must act.

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To whom do the regulations of the packaging law apply?

Das aktuelle Verpackungsgesetz bezweckt, die Auswirkungen von Verpackungsabfällen auf die Umwelt zu vermeiden oder zu verringern. Um dieses Ziel zu erreichen, soll das Gesetz das Verhalten der Verpflichteten so regeln, dass Verpackungsabfälle vorrangig vermieden und darüber hinaus einer Vorbereitung zur Wiederverwendung oder dem Recycling zugeführt werden.

Einfach ausgedrückt: Wer in Deutschland Waren in Verpackungen für private Endkunden herstellt, importiert oder wie z. B. als Online-Händler zusätzlich verpackt, fällt unter das Verpackungsgesetz und muss sich an einem bundesweiten Rücknahmesystem, einem Dualen System, beteiligen (die flächendeckende Abholung der so gesammelten Verpackungsabfälle übernehmen die dualen Systeme).

Who needs to register?

Das Verpackungsgesetz gilt für Produzenten, Importeure und Online-Händler, die Waren in Verpackungen für private Endverbraucher in Deutschland erstmals in den Verkehr bringen. Sie gelten als "Erstinverkehrbringer", der sich im öffentlichen Melderegister LUCID registrieren muss. Sie müssen sich vor dem Inverkehrbringen von Verpackungen registrieren und die Verpackungen bei einem bundesweiten Rücknahmesystem für gebrauchte Verkaufsverpackungen (Systembetreiber) lizenzieren. Nach Registrierung erhält man eine Kennnummer, die sogenannte LUCID-Registrierungsnummer.

Außerdem haben sie sich mit ihren Verpackungen zur Gewährleistung der flächendeckenden Rücknahme an einem oder mehreren dualen Systemen zu beteiligen. Ab dem 01.07.2022 gilt, dass für sämtliche Hersteller von Verpackungen die Verpflichtung zur Registrierung im Verpackungsregister LUCID besteht.

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Example 1

Private end users also include comparable points of generation. These are, for example, all restaurants, hotels, hospitals, educational institutions and branches of freelancers.


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Example 2

Shipping and outer packaging, the majority of which remains with the end consumer, is also subject to licensing. Furthermore, small craft businesses as well as agricultural businesses are also included. The one-way deposit for beverage packaging is also regulated in the Packaging Act.

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Example 3

There is no obligation for licensing and registration for packaging that remains mainly with retailers, industrial customers or larger craft businesses/workshops, etc.. Here, only a take-back obligation for the packaging applies.

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Which packaging is affected?

In principle, all sales, outer and shipping packaging, including all filling materials as well as service packaging, is subject to system participation and must be licensed via the Dual System. Depending on the type of use, there are different types of packaging, including primarily sales packaging, outer packaging, service packaging, shipping packaging and transport packaging.

The Central Office's catalog for packaging subject to system participation contains a detailed list of which packaging must or must not be licensed.

Sales packaging expressly includes service packaging and shipping packaging. Service packaging is always subject to system participation, while shipping packaging is listed in the catalog but is also subject to system participation in the vast majority of cases.


What happens if you don't register?

Manufacturers and importers of packaging must register before they can place it on the market in Germany for the first time.

The distributor is not allowed to sell the products to private end consumers. There is a risk of heavy fines and a ban on distribution.

On the administrative level, there is the threat of fines of up to EUR 200,000 as well as further sanctions such as the skimming of profits made.

How does packaging licensing work?

The manufacturer is responsible for the proper disposal of its packaging. In addition, every distributor must license its packaging with a dual system. Packaging subject to system participation accumulates at households or household-like collection points (e.g. hospitals, restaurants, hotels or offices). Packaging is collected there in the yellow garbage can, the yellow bag, the paper garbage can and the municipal glass containers.

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