As of 1 July 2022, there will be new registration requirements and new audit requirements for electronic marketplaces and fulfilment service providers.

New registration requirements

Then all companies that place packaged goods on the German market must register with the Central Packaging Register (Stiftung Zentrale Stelle Verpackungsregister, ZVSR) in the so-called LUCID portal by indicating the details of their individual types of packaging and the respective brand names.

Packaging subject to registration is

  • as previously, packaging with a so-called system participation obligation, i.e. packaging filled with goods which generate waste at private final consumers,
  • in future, also packaging without a system participation obligation (e.g., transport packaging in a wholesale),
  • Packaging regardless of the respective type of packaging, e.g., sales packaging, repackaging and shipping packaging, transport packaging, reusable packaging, industrial packaging, deposit-required one-way beverage packaging, etc.

Companies subject to registration are

  • all domestic and foreign companies that place packaged goods on the market in Germany. It is irrelevant whether the packaging is supplied to third parties in Germany against payment or free of charge;
  • final distributors of so-called service packaging; however, packaging of products which arrive at a distribution point of the final distributor already pre-packaged (e.g. biscuits pre-packaged in bags in a large bakery) or which are intended for dispatch are not service packaging. Final distributors may delegate their obligations to a pre-distributor. A fee must be paid for the recycling of the packaging.

In the case of already existing registrations, the additional information now required must be added.

The new registration process will start as of 5 May 2022. Violations of the registration requirement may lead to a ban on distribution. In addition, a fine of up to EUR 100,000 may be imposed.

Data reports on packaging quantities must continue to be submitted exclusively for packaging subject to system participation to the selected system(s) and to the LUCID packaging register.

New audit obligations for electronic marketplaces and fulfilment service providers

The Packaging Act applies to all traders and manufacturers who place sales packaging on the German market. International traders who sell their products to private customers in Germany directly, via an electronic marketplace or with the help of a fulfilment service provider must also comply with the obligations of the Packaging Act.

In addition, with the amendment to the Packaging Act, there will be new inspection obligations for electronic marketplaces and fulfilment service providers from 1 July 2022. Electronic marketplaces may only offer goods from traders and sellers on their platforms if those are registered in the packaging register LUCID and fulfil their system participation obligations, i.e. have concluded a system participation contract with one or more systems. Thus, electronic marketplaces have the obligation to check whether the traders and sellers are registered in the packaging register LUCID and fulfil their system participation obligations in order to avoid sanctions.

Fulfilment service providers must also ensure and check that their clients comply with the packaging law obligations. In the event of non-fulfilment of the packaging law obligations by their clients, fulfilment service providers and operators of electronic marketplaces may no longer offer their services to their contractual partners. Moreover, violations are recorded by the Central Packaging Register, reported to the competent administrative offence authorities of the Federal States and can be punished with fines of up to EUR 200,000.