The Zentrale Stelle Verpackungsregister (Central Agency Packaging Register – ZSVR) was created to concentrate market oversight for requirements on the distributors of packaging and waste management systems, and to make oversight more effective. In collaboration with state enforcement authorities, the aim of the ZSVR is to instil transparency and fair competition in the practice of producer responsibility for retail packaging and in the waste management system market. This includes the elimination of the competitive disadvantages created by free riders, which in the past led to damages in excess of EUR 200 million annually that had to be borne by law-abiding companies.
The role of the Zentrale Stelle Verpackungsregister (Central Agency Packaging Register – ZSVR) includes statutory duties such as registering the distributors of retail packaging, accepting and checking data reports submitted by distributors and waste management systems, the market share calculation for systems and sector-specific solutions, the minimum standard for determining the recyclability of packaging, checking volume flow records and recycling quotas, the register of auditors and the audit guidelines for experts and auditors. In addition, the ZSVR has private law duties such as setting up the register and the database, entering into financing agreements with the dual systems and sector-specific solutions, liaising with other authorities, as well as providing information to parties under obligation and the public.
The Zentrale Stelle Verpackungsregister (Central Agency Packaging Register – ZSVR) was established as a foundation by the following associations:
- Bundesvereinigung der Deutschen Ernährungsindustrie e. V. (Federation of German Food and Drink Industries – BVE)
- Handelsverband Deutschland - HDE - e. V. (German Retail Association)
- IK Industrievereinigung Kunststoffverpackungen e. V. (German Association for Plastics Packagings and Films)
- Markenverband e.V. (German Trade Mark Association)
The Zentrale Stelle Verpackungsregister (Central Agency Packaging Register – ZSVR) is established as a foundation under German civil law and has been entrusted with statutory duties since 1 January 2019 in its activities undertaken throughout Germany as an authority. In its governmental capacity, it is subject to the legal and technical oversight of the German Environment Agency. In many aspects of its work, it requires the agreement of other authorities, such as the aforementioned German Environment Agency, or German Federal Cartel Office. Determinations and decisions made by the ZSVR as administrative acts are subject to judicial scrutiny. The German Federal Audit Office is responsible for oversight of the ZSVR's budget and use of funds.
For reasons relating to antitrust law, the register and data area of the Zentrale Stelle Verpackungsregister (Central Agency Packaging Register – ZSVR) have a 'high security clearance' set-up. A strict and high-tech information security regime is in place. The way in which the data is dealt with, the dual control principle and other strict compliance requirements are monitored extensively by the German Environment Agency. Members of the Foundation's bodies cannot access the data.
The Zentrale Stelle Verpackungsregister (Central Agency Packaging Register – ZSVR) is not a sanctioning body. Its role is to promote standards and transparency. However, if it identifies any irregularities, it is required to investigate them. As such, the ZSVR is obliged to require documentation to be provided and to order additional audits where necessary. Any breaches of the law will then be prosecuted by the competent authorities at the federal and state level.
The costs of setting up the Zentrale Stelle Verpackungsregister (Central Agency Packaging Register – ZSVR) and the annual operating costs are refinanced proportionally by levies on dual systems and sector-specific solutions. These levies are restricted to 'necessary costs'. The necessary costs must be attested by an auditor, and the assessment of the levies received must be approved by the German Environment Agency. The German Federal Audit Office checks to ensure that the funds are being used economically by reviewing the budget and use of funds.
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