German Packaging Act
Friendly disclaimer: This information provides an overview for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. Receipt of this information does not create, and it is not intended to create a lawyer-client relationship. The author, Catawiki B.V. disclaims all responsibility for any and all losses, damages, or causes of action that may arise or be connected with the use of these materials. Please consult a licensed lawyer in your area for legal assistance.When you sell packaged items to buyers in Germany, you must follow the requirements of the German Packaging Act (Verpackungsgesetz or VerpackG). This applies to all business sellers shipping items to consumers with a German delivery address.As of July 1, 2022 Catawiki is legally obligated to confirm our business sellers meet these requirements. BackgroundOn 1st January 2019, Germany’s VerpackG (Packaging Act) came into effect, imposing requirements on business sellers selling to buyers in Germany. The Packaging Act promotes recycling and reuse of packaging materials (e.g. cardboard boxes, tape, and bubble wrap). Recent updates to the Packaging Act include new requirements impacting online marketplaces like Catawiki, as well as some Catawiki sellers. The new regulations take effect on 1st July 2022. As these updates may impact anyone selling to buyers in Germany, we’ve outlined the new requirements and important steps to take in this article.Who and what does the German Packaging Act apply to?The German Packaging Act affects domestic and international business sellers whose items end up with private consumers in Germany. See this link for more detail and explanation.Sellers based in Germany are only subject to this obligation if they didn’t purchase the packaging through a Dual System partner. Special rules may also apply for reusable packaging, if it is returned and reused under an incentive/deposit system. While any additional rule can add complexity, there are three main steps for commercial sellers under the Packaging Act:License (aka "system participation") your packaging quantities with a dual system.Register in the "LUCID" register provided by the central authority "Zentrale Stelle Verpackungsregister" (ZSVR). After registration, you will receive your individual Lucid registration number (= EPR number for packaging). Submit this number to your dual system.Enter the name of your dual system and your packaging quantity licensed in step 1 in the Lucid reporting register of the ZSVR.So as a business seller, do I need to obtain an LUCID packing registration number now?Yes, as of 1 July 2022, any seller who does business as a registered company or who is trading as a company, is required to register in the LUCID register, if your business ships to Germany, regardless whether your business is based in Germany or outside of Germany. This is irrespective of the shipping company you use. Registration is free of charge. LUCID Packaging Register Numbers numbers are provided by the LUCID Packaging Register (contact details are available here). I need help to register and comply. Whom can I contact?A number of service providers can assist you with compliance and registration, such as the following service providers:Noventiz (contact details are available here)Lizenzero (contact details are available here)See this link for more detail on each of the steps.Please note the registration obligation applies regardless of the quantity of objects shipped to Germany. Further obligations will be triggered based on quantities. Is my registration number public?Yes, the Central Packaging Registry is a public register (details are available here) What happens if I don’t register with LUCID?Sellers failing to comply may be subject to written warning letters or fines (up to €200,000 and a prohibition in sales). Registration is free, and every entity considered a “manufacturer” of packaging (including domestic and international Catawiki sellers) must register individually. Visit LUCID for additional information on eligibility and to register.How do I check if I’m in compliance with the German Packaging Act?New compliance procedures can be complicated. We encourage you to visit the Central Packaging Register Office website for additional information and resources. You can direct written requests related to the Packaging Act to email@example.com. Consider reaching out to a legal expert with questions about how these requirements may relate to you, and how to comply. While Catawiki cannot provide recommendations, there may also be vendors who specialize in assisting small businesses through this process in Germany and other European countries.Is it difficult to register?Registration with LUCID is simple and free of charge. It is a purely electronic process and can be performed with a computer/tablet or web-enabled mobile phone. A brief description of the registration process can be found below. On the site www.verpackungsregister.org the FAQs contain information concerning individual questions which may arise in the context of registration. This is a step by step process on the basis of enquiries.For registration, two steps must be completed:Request access data for LUCIDEnter registration dataTo request access, go to the site: www.verpackungsregister.org where you will find the button for registering on the LUCID register. There, you enter the name of the company to be registered Once you have submitted this data, you will receive an activation e-mail containing a link. What is required by Catawiki under the German Packaging Act?Based on the Packaging Act coming into effect on 1st July 2022, online marketplaces, including Catawiki, are required to verify that sellers have a valid LUCID registration and (if applicable) are participating in a Dual System prior to any sales transactions being made to the German market. Please share your LUCID ID number with us by sending an email with your LUCID ID number and Seller ID number to the following email address: LUCID-ID@Catawiki.nl. We will regularly check compliance moving forward and you may receive further guidance on your ability to sell to buyers in Germany.