From July online marketplaces and fulfilment service providers operating in Germany will be subject to new producer responsibility obligations for packaging that they place on the market, with similar regulations for electrical and electronic equipment following next January.
German packaging law changes mean operators of online marketplaces will no longer be allowed to offer packaged products, and fulfilment service providers must not carry out any activities, such as storing, packaging or dispatching goods, if the sellers of these products have not complied with their legal obligations.
Sellers need to be registered with the German Central Packaging Register LUCID and license their packaging with a German compliance scheme. These regulations apply to both product and shipping packaging.
On 1 January next year, similar regulations will come into force for electrical and electronic equipment, i.e. operators of online marketplaces must not offer this equipment – and fulfilment service providers must not carry out any of their activities – if the manufacturer of this equipment is not properly registered. The German-British Chamber recommends that companies affected by the EEE regulations start the registration process as soon as possible to be able to continue selling products in Germany next year, as the registration process takes at least 6-7 weeks, but can be much longer at busy times.
The new regulations aim to close a loophole by making each individual marketplace seller and each user of fulfilment services accountable for complying with packaging law and EEE obligations, respectively. In addition, marketplace operators and fulfilment service providers themselves must be able to demonstrate that they are complying with the legal requirements.
Goods in non-licensed packaging face a sales ban from 1 July, with violations attracting potential fines of up to EUR 200,000, while non-compliance with EEE rules could be fined up to EUR 100,000 after 1 January 2023.
Additionally, existing sellers of licensed packaging will need to have registered their non-licensable packaging, e.g. transport and deposit packaging, in the German Central Packaging Register LUCID by 1 July. The simplified registration process is due to start on 4 May, however, data reports for the quantities of packaging are not necessary.
The German-British Chamber of Industry & Commerce offers a service which helps companies fulfil their obligations under the German packaging law and can also assist companies with EEE compliance. For more information, please contact Jana Toon, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.