New German packaging law introduces Central Register along with other important changes

On 1 January 2019 the new German Packaging Act (VerpackG) will come into effect, which will bring a number of significant changes for companies introducing or circulating packaging in Germany. The main differences are mandatory registration with the newly created Central Register and mandatory participation in a German nationwide dual take-back scheme, the abolition of minimum thresholds and changes to the reporting of packaging data.

Non-compliance with the new Act will result in a distribution ban and fines of up to EUR 200,000. Registrations will be published online by the Central Agency, which means importers, distributors and competitors will be able to check compliance easily.

Registration with the new Central Packaging Register is now open at and companies will need to obtain a registration number to be shared with their selected take-back scheme prior to distributing packaging in Germany from January 2019.

The Act covers all packaging that the end-consumer typically disposes of as waste. Since it also abolishes minimum limits, everyone who commercially circulates packaging into Germany for the first time is affected by the new Act., i.e. manufacturers, distributors, importers as well as online retailers.

The German government has introduced the changes to achieve greater transparency in the reporting of packaging to help it realise its ambitious recycling targets by 2022. Licence fees will be set by the take-back schemes according to how recyclable the packaging is, to encourage manufacturers to use environmentally friendly alternatives.

The German-British Chamber of Industry & Commerce offers a service which helps companies fulfil their obligations under the German packaging laws by preparing and reporting packaging data to German take-back schemes.

For more information, please contact Jana Toon, Tel: +44 (0)20 7976 4188 or email [email protected].

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