The register is public and features a search function so that anyone (e.g. clients, competitors, enforcement authorities, systems, and environmental and consumer associations) can check whether an initial distributor of packaging complies with the law. Pursuant to section 9 (4) VerpackG (Packaging Act), the Zentrale Stelle Verpackungsregister (Central Agency Packaging Register – ZSVR) must make the following information publicly accessible:
- name, address and contact details of the producer (in particular postcode and town/city, street address, country, telephone number and VAT number or taxpayer reference number);
- brand names under which the producer places packaging subject to system participation onto the German market.
This transparency is the purpose of the public register. In the past, many initial distributors (producers, retailers) have failed to discharge their legal producer responsibility. Other producers have had to bear the cost of these 'free riders'. The register is designed to bring an end to those competitive distortions. In tandem with interventions by the ZSVR as an authority, or by state enforcement authorities, all acting within their respective remits, this makes it possible for market participants to assess or take steps of their own under civil law so as to prevent unfair competitive disadvantages.
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