What Do You Need to Know About the New German Packaging Law?

As of 1 January 2019, the new Packaging Law (VerpackG) replaced the Packaging Regulation (VerpackV). The aim of the new packaging law is to reduce waste and promote recycling. As an online retailer, this will affect you if you sell products to the German market.

The New German Packaging Law

What is in the new Packaging Law?

The packaging law is designed with a look towards to the future. It is intended to make retailers more responsible for using and promoting recyclable packaging and help them become greener.

Recycling targets have been increased for 2019 and will increase again in 2022.

Such things as “secondary packaging”, “transport packaging” and “shipping packaging” have had their definitions changed as well.

The new regulations should increase transparency and ensure that the costs of recycling are distributed fairly.

Who is affected by the new Packaging Law?

Any business sending packages to Germany will have to register with the newly-created “Central Packaging Registry” (Zentralle Stelle). If companies don’t do this while continuing to sell in Germany, they risk receiving heavy fines.

Business owners will have to submit data on their packaging to the Zentralle Stelle (i.e. volume reports). Additionally, they will need to license their packaging with one of the authorized packaging schemes in Germany (as before), who will be responsible for the collection and recycling of the packaging. These companies will also relay their information back to the Zentralle Stelle, thereby increasing transparency.

What does the Zentralle Stelle do?

This newly-formed national authority, the Zentralle Stelle, will be responsible for many things connected to this new law. For example, some of their tasks include:

  • the registration of manufacturers (and their online publication)

  • receiving data reports from manufacturers and packaging schemes (e.g. Der Grüne Punkt)

  • reviewing the data supplied by the manufacturers and packaging schemes

  • create a standard for measuring the recyclability of packaging

  • developing auditing guidelines

Conclusion

With an eye towards the future, this new regulation will help make manufacturers more responsible and thoughtful towards their packaging. If you intend to sell in Germany (and Germans love UK products), you need to register with the proper authority (Zentralle Stelle). 

We’ve created a free whitepaper to have a deeper look at this new packaging regulation:

Download the German Packaging Law whitepaper

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