Packaging licensing in Germany: How to set up your online business to be compliant
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Packaging licensing in Germany: How to set up your online business to be compliant

Author  Natalia Wiszewska

Estimated reading time: up to 5 minutes

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With e-commerce and dropshipping, companies can reach a global audience with just a few clicks. However, navigating the regulatory landscape is crucial for sustainable success, especially in Germany where packaging licensing laws are strict. Complying with these regulations not only help to avoid fines, but also encourages environmentally conscious practices. In this guide, we’ll take you through the key steps in order to set up your online business in Germany, focusing on how you can seamlessly comply packaging licensing requirements.

What’s behind the VerpackG

The German Packaging Act, commonly known as the VerpackG, regulates the handling of packaging waste in Germany. This law was introduced to ensure that companies take responsibility for the environmental impact of their packaging materials. The primary aim of the Packaging Act is to promote recycling and reduce the amount of packaging waste.

According to the Packaging Act, all companies that introduce packaging to the German market are obliged to register with the Central Agency Packaging Register (ZSVR) and participate in a dual system. This includes manufacturers, importers and online retailers, regardless of their size and the amount of packaging they use. Through the obligation to register and participate in a dual system, the Packaging Act ensures that companies participate in the costs of collecting and recycling their packaging. This system does not only support the circular economy by promoting the use of recyclable materials, but also creates a level playing field in which all market participants comply with the same environmental standards.

graphic dual systems

What obligations do I have as a seller in Germany?

In order to be authorized to place product and shipping packaging that accumulates with private end consumers in Germany on the market, the packaging must be licensed. This requires participation in a dual system (e.g. Interzero) via a license fee. The dual system then takes over the sorting and recycling of the packaging. This so-called ‘mandatory system participation’ can be easily fulfilled via our partner Lizenzero, the online shop of the dual system Interzero Recycling Alliance.

Apart from the system participation obligation, the Packaging Act also mandates registration and data reporting obligations with the Central Packaging Register Authority:

  1. Registration obligation: Before you place any packaging on the German market, you must register with the Central Packaging Register in the public packaging register LUCID. This registration is mandatory and must include details about your business and the types of packaging you use. You will receive a registration number from LUCID, which you must pass through to your dual system.
  2. Data reporting obligation: After selecting a dual system and licensing the sales packaging, you are requested to report the volumes and types of packaging you place on the market to both the ZSVR and your chosen dual system. The information must always match between the dual system and LUCID.

By fulfilling these obligations, you not only avoid legal penalties but also contribute to Germany’s efforts to reduce packaging waste and promote recycling. Staying informed and proactive about your responsibilities under the VerpackG demonstrates your commitment to sustainable business practices and helps build trust with environmentally-conscious consumers.

Registration in LUCID – How does it work?

Registering in LUCID is a crucial step for compliance with the VerpackG. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to complete your registration:

1 Access the LUCID Portal:

2. Create an Account:

  • Click on the “Launch registration process” Button and create an account. You will need to provide basic information about your company, including your business name, address and contact details.

 

3. Provide Detailed Business Information:

  • Enter detailed information about your business operations. This includes specifying the type of business (manufacturer, importer, online retailer, etc.), your tax identification number and the categories of packaging you will be placing on the German market.

4. Submit Registration:

  • After filling in all the required information, submit your registration. You will receive a confirmation email from LUCID with your registration number. This number is crucial for all future packaging reports and compliance documentation.

5. Annual Reporting:

  • Each year, you must report the quantities of packaging you have placed on the market. This report should be submitted both to the ZSVR via the LUCID portal and to your chosen dual system (e.g. Interzero). Ensure that you adhere to the reporting deadlines to remain compliant.

6. Keep Records Updated:

  • It’s important to keep your LUCID registration and all related information up to date. If there are any changes in your business operations, such as a change in the types of packaging used or a different dual system provider, you must update your LUCID account accordingly.

Consequences of non-compliance with the VerpackG

Compliance with the Packaging Act is mandatory for every company operating in Germany. If you do not license your sales packaging, you could face warnings, fines of up to 200,000 Euros and sales bans. Since 1 July 2022, operators of electronic marketplaces have been obliged to check compliance with the Packaging Act. This means that you as a seller are also obliged to provide evidence of your sales packaging licenses. Your LUCID registration number and, if applicable, the system participation confirmation of your dual system serve as proof. Therefore, understanding and complying with the requirements of the VerpackG is necessary for a successful business start.

About our Partner Lizenzero

Lizenzero is your partner for packaging licensing in Germany and throughout Europe. With many years of expertise and an on-demand customer account, lizenzero.de offers you a simple and digital packaging licensing service in Germany from just €39 per year.

You can license your packaging completely online! Upgrade your business to be legally compliant in no time and get an exclusive 10% discount (code DROPLO10*) for the packaging licensing.

 

*to be redeemed on www.lizenzero.de. Valid until 31.12.2024. Discount on the net value of goods. No payout possible. One voucher per order and customer redeemable. No combination with other discount campaigns possible. Subsequent redemption not possible. The legal process is excluded.

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