Paris, February 11, 2019 If you launch a new packaged product in Germany, this German packaging law (known as "VerpackG") which came into force on January 1st may apply to you. It ensures the transposition of the European Directive 2015/720 of April 29, 2015 into German law, amending a previous directive to reduce the consumption of lightweight plastic bags.

This new law requires all manufacturers and/or retailers placing a product with a package on the market, to register with a public registry named "LUCID". This law applies to all manufacturers and/or retailers who "are the first" to sell a packaged product regardless of size whether by direct sale or online. In addition to the identity of the "first" seller, the trademarks affixed to the product concerned by the packaging must also be provided to the registry upon registration; it is not necessary that the trademark be filed.

Beyond the promotion of recyclable and environmentally friendly packaging materials, the purpose of this new law is to provide a fair distribution of the costs of packaging disposal and recycling between manufacturers and retailers. In addition, this new registration requirement allows for greater transparency with respect to manufacturers and/or retailers who assume financial responsibility for the collection and recycling of their packaging materials.

For manufacturers and/or retailers who do not comply with this law, the consequences can be severe. Indeed, products with the appropriate packaging will be subject to a distribution ban, including to any subsequent distributor. In addition, fines of up to 200,000 euros will be imposed. Finally, because of the registry's public character, it is expected that the commercial partners of unregistered manufacturers and/or retailers will cease to use them as suppliers.

A catalog has been posted on the official registry website (https://www.verpackungsregister.org/stiftung-behoerde/katalogsystembeteiligungspflicht/), listing the packaging materials subject to the requirements of this law. In case of doubt, manufacturers and/or retailers may also file a request with the registry to determine whether or not their packaging materials are subject to these requirements.