Beware the new German packaging law

Germany is keen to become the world’s leader in recycling and the German authorities are poised to implement a new, stricter reporting regime for packaging producers.

The new VerpackG law (which replaces the currently applicable Packaging Ordinance “VerpackV” from 1 January 2019), sets out the obligations of packaging producers. This encompasses suppliers of packaging materials, packaging converters, pack/fillers, retailers, importers and distributors. If this includes you, be aware that your product responsibility in Germany is increasing.

The revision in the law is also intended to increase transparency and legal clarity for companies in what has previously been a complex and burdensome system.

No thresholds for registering and reporting

A new online registration database will be created called “Lucid”, which will contain the central packaging register for Germany. After January 2019, producers placing packaging or packaged goods for the first time on the German market intended for household end-users, will be required to join a compliance scheme who will register them with the German packaging authority (“Zentralle Stelle”).

Their name will then appear in the LUCID packaging register. The producer must provide data relating to the materials used and volumes placed on the market to both their appointed scheme and the Zentralle Stelle. Unfortunately, unlike many other countries, schemes cannot simply submit data on behalf of the company – it has to come from the company direct.

Unlike some other countries, the German producer responsibility laws are very strict: there are no thresholds for registering and reporting. So, even if you are only placing one packaged item on the German market, you will still need to register and report it.

Fines and trade sanctions for non-compliance

The ramifications for non-compliance are also strict. Failure to comply with the new VerpackG law face fines of up to €200,000 as well as potential trade sanctions. There are additional requirements to submit a ‘Declaration of Completeness’ if you are placing more than 80 tonnes of glass, 50 tonnes of paper and card, and 30 tonnes of aluminium on the market in Germany.

This is a separate process and requires electronic sign-off by an auditor or accountant. Whilst this process has always been in existence, from January the declaration will go to the Zentralle Stelle rather than the German Chamber of Commerce which should hopefully make it less bureaucratic.

Overseas compliance can appear daunting but Ecosurety are on hand to provide expert advice and assistance, contact us today to see how best we can assist you.

Katie Nairne

International project manager

Katie manages our expert international compliance services to help ensure our members are compliant with recycling legislation overseas. She has a sharp pair of eyes too, having previously qualified not only as a chartered legal executive but also in PRINCE2 and APM project management. When the devil is in the detail, Katie ensures nothing is missed!

Written by Katie Nairne Published 21/06/2018 Topics International

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