The Verpackungsgesetz (Packaging Act) sets out requirements for the production, placing on the German market and recovery of packaging. It entered into force as per January 2019, and replaced the Verpackungsverordnung (Packaging Ordinance) of 1992 that had been in force previously. The Verpackungsverordnung also contained provisions governing producer responsibility for producers and distributors of packaging, as well as the requirement for retail packaging to participate in waste management systems ('systems'), setting high recycling quotas for them. The Verpackungsgesetz also serves to transpose European provisions of the extended producer responsibility into national law.
The Verpackungsgesetz (Packaging Act) requires all initial distributors of packaging filled with goods to register with the Zentrale Stelle Verpackungsregister (Central Agency Packaging Register – ZSVR) through the LUCID Packaging Register – before placing packaging on the German market. Failing to register attracts a distribution ban for the goods in question. Whether or not further obligations apply depends on the type of packaging that is placed on the market.
Most significantly, the Verpackungsgesetz (Packaging Act) created the Zentrale Stelle Verpackungsregister (Central Agency Packaging Register – ZSVR) with wide-ranging and, to some extent, statutory duties. Furthermore, the Verpackungsgesetz provides for higher recycling quota, requires a minimum standard for determining the recyclability of retail packaging, expands the influence of municipalities on the structure of how retail packaging is collected locally, and sets out clearer controls for waste management systems. It also provides for higher requirements on experts, auditors, tax advisers and sworn accountants who undertake auditing activities, and brings into effect new requirements for beverage packaging.
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