As of 01/01/2019, the Packaging Act (VerpackG) will supersede the Packaging Ordinance still valid to date. From 2019, producers of packaging subject to mandatory system participation are required to license all packaging materials they bring onto the market with an accredited dual system and to register with the National Authority for Packaging Registration (Zentrale Stelle).
1. Definition: “Producers of packaging subject to mandatory system participation”
As of 01/01/2019, “producers” as contemplated by the Packaging Act (VerpackG) are all those who bring packaging into commercial circulation for the first time (i.e. including those who import packaging material). “Packaging” does not mean the actual packing material; essentially, this refers to sales packaging “typically offered to end-consumers as a sales unit consisting of the merchandise and packaging“ (Section 3 (1) No. 1 VerpackG). This also includes secondary packaging, service and dispatch packaging used in online trading, including filling material and labels.
“Sales packaging subject to mandatory system participation” refers to sales and secondary packaging filled with merchandise and which typically ends up as waste with the private end-consumer after consumption (Section 3 (8) VerpackG).
Accordingly, it is not the producer of the packaging materials who is affected by the VerpackG but the person who fills the packaging with merchandise, i.e. who produces the sales unit (referred to below as the “initial distributor”).
2. Duties of the initial distributorsEach party subject to the regulation must
- register with the National Authority
- register its packaging volumes (type of material and mass of packaging – annual volume planned) in advance with a dual system and with the National Authority
- report the actual volume of packaging at least once a year with its dual system and with the National Authority (by end-February of the subsequent year)
- and possibly submit a statement of completeness to the National Authority
- comply with duties to provide information.