Packaging Act Amendment: Online marketplaces are required to verify registration under the German Packaging Act

According to the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, on 21 January 2021 the Federal Cabinet adopted a resolution on a proposal by Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze to amend the Packaging Act. Key content of the legislative amendment: In future, online marketplaces and fulfilment service providers will need to verify that manufacturers of packaged goods on their platform are listed with the German Foundation Central Agency Packaging Register (ZSVR) and comply with the Packaging Act. According to our latest information available, the Act is to take effect on 3 July 2021.

As reported by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, on 21 January 2021 the Federal Cabinet adopted a resolution on a proposal by Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze to amend the Packaging Act.

Key content of the legislative amendment: In future, online marketplaces and fulfilment service providers will need to verify that manufacturers of packaged goods on their platform are listed with the German Foundation Central Agency Packaging Register (ZSVR) and comply with the Packaging Act.

According to the present legislative draft, this would apply as follows:

“In future, therefore, operators of an electronic marketplace and fulfilment service providers will also have to ensure that manufacturers are registered in the Central Authority’s packaging register before they allow their packaging to be offered for sale or provide fulfilment services in relation to their packaging. As a rule, it is sufficient to this end if the operator of an electronic marketplace or fulfilment service provider requests the manufacturer’s registration number before entering into business relations. By means of the registration number, the operator or provider can then carry out an automatic data comparison with the packaging register to establish whether the manufacturer is actually registered there. The Central Packaging Register will make an electronic interface available to this end. Alternatively, he can also use public internet access to the packaging register to manually verify the registration of the respective manufacturer, e.g. according to his brand name.”

The draft goes on to say:

“According to Section 7 (7) of the Packaging Act, fulfilment service providers and operators of electronic marketplaces must ensure that traders who offer goods in packaging subject to system participation and use the above-mentioned services participate in a dual system. It is assumed that for this implied control obligation, all traders making use of service providers’ offerings will be informed once only by the fulfilment service providers and operators of electronic marketplaces about the legislative amendment and a registration confirmation - which will be issued by a system - will be requested. It is also assumed that the fulfilment service providers and e-marketplace operators will set a deadline for traders to provide feedback. If a trader does not execute the registration confirmation and fails to submit one within the specified period, the contract between the service provider and the trader will be terminated.  In addition, it is assumed that for future contracting with traders, the service providers will incorporate a clause calling for transmission of a system’s registration confirmation from the traders in order to conclude the agreement.

The federal government’s draft bill on the implementation of requirements of the Single-Use Plastics Directive and the Waste Framework Directive in the Packaging Act and other laws, which was adopted by the Federal Cabinet on 20 January 2021 primarily serves to implement provisions from the amended Waste Framework Directive 2008/98/EC and the Single-Use Plastics Directive (EU) 2019/904.

Following the decision of the Federal Cabinet, the amendment to the Packaging Act must be adopted by the Bundestag and passed by the Bundesrat. According to our latest information available, the Act is to take effect on 3 July 2021.

If you have any questions on the Packaging Act, the take-e-way GmbH consultants will be pleased to assist you. Call +49/40/750687-0 or send an e-mail to beratung@take-e-way.de.

The press release by the Federal Environment Agency is available here:

https://www.bmu.de/pressemitteilung/mehrweg-wird-moeglich-im-to-go-bereich/

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