The European Commission decided to open an infringement procedure by sending a letter of formal notice to France (INFR(2022)4028) for failure to address its labelling requirements concerning waste sorting instructions. To be placed on the French market, household products belonging to an extended producer responsibility (EPR) scheme have to be materially labelled with the ‘Triman logo', signage informing that the product is the object of sorting rules, and the ‘infotri', information specifying the methods for sorting.
The provision of waste sorting instructions to consumers is currently not governed by harmonised EU rules. National laws adopted in this field shall not create unnecessary burden internal market trade. In this context, the imposition of national-specific labelling requirements risks undermining the principle of free movement of goods and can lead to counterproductive environmental effects. Such measures can also lead to increased material needs for additional labelling and additional waste produced due to larger than necessary sizes of the packaging.
The French authorities do not seem to have conducted a sufficient analysis of the proportionality of their policy choice as other suitable options, less restrictive of trade between Member States, are available. France is also in breach of the notification obligations under the Single Market Transparency Directive (Directive (EU) 2015/1535) to the extent that the law was not notified to the Commission at a draft stage, prior to adoption. France now has two months to address the concerns raised by the Commission. Otherwise, the Commission may decide to send a reasoned opinion to France.
Currently, Triman and Infotri continue to exist
From the VERE Association’s point of view, the proceedings are a formality, especially with regard to the breach of notification obligations under the Internal Market Transparency Directive. Currently, Triman and Infotri continue to exist.
On 17 September 2021, take-e-way reported on the sorting information guidelines for packaging components in France. The general legal deadline for implementation of the labelling, which refers to the packaging components, was 9 September 2022. However, the deadline for labelling is extended to 15 June 2023 for manufacturers whose products are assigned to another waste stream (WEEE or batteries) for all those packaging items that were produced or imported before 9 September 2022. For manufacturers whose products fall under the packaging waste stream only, the deadline is 9 March 2023 for all those packaging items manufactured or imported before 9 September 2022.
For information on our international compliance services in connection with placing electronic equipment, batteries/rechargeable cells and packaged products or packaging on the market, please click on the following link: https://www.take-e-way.com/international-compliance/