08. June 2021
This information is a brief summary of the new obligations resulting from the amendment of the VerpackG. It does not claim to be exhaustive and does not constitute legal advice. If necessary, RIGK will provide you with legal advice.
The responsibility for returning and recycling packaging is strongly influenced by sustainability. In order to take a further step here, the revised German Packaging Act is coming into force in July 2021. RIGK customers already meet most of these demands through the return system.
The planned changes affect issues such as sales, outer and transport packaging, industrial and commercial packaging, as well as hazardous substance packaging (section 2) brought into circulation in Germany – including where there is no requirement to participate in mandatory systems.
The revision relates to documentation, registration and finance obligations to differing extents. The primary focus in on product manufacturers and distributors downstream in the delivery chain. This is different for information obligations: the final distributor of products in packaging is responsible here.
More transparency for returns and recycling
The obligation to document fulfilment of return and recycling requirements is regulated in section 15 (3) of the German Packaging Act (VerpackG). By 15 May of each year, all companies subject to obligations under the Act must provide traceable documentation to the competent state agency about the packaging they brought into circulation, took back and recycled in the past calendar year. This includes a breakdown by material and mass.
Customers in the RIGK-G-SYSTEM (for packaging of hazardous substances) have been able to transfer their burden of proof to RIGK as the system operator of the RIGK-G-SYSTEM since 2002 in accordance with section 33 of the VerpackG (formerly Packaging Ordinance). This allows RIGK to provide the appropriate documentation to government agencies for their trademark users. The documentation obligation for customers with packaging of non-hazardous products is new. Here too, the RIGK Agreement will keep future effort low thanks to the annual quantity notification by the customers.
From 2022, in accordance with section 9 VerpackG manufacturers and distributors downstream in the delivery chain will be obliged to itemise packaging they bring into circulation according to the relevant types of packaging. This registration obligation is new for RIGK customers. However, because the annual packaging quantities are already notified to RIGK, the additional effort will be minimal here as well.
From this date there will also be an obligation to ensure solid finance and organisation so that product manufacturers and distributors downstream in the delivery chain can meet the obligations resulting from section 15 VerpackG. RIGK customers have already joined the return system and as a result they already finance and implement the required expansion of product responsibility. The pre-condition here is also that all packaging is covered by a return system.
Information for end consumers
Are return and recycling requirements met? Informing end consumers about this is the obligation of the final distributor. This also affects the possibilities to return used industrial and commercial packaging. Customers who have joined the RIGK return system already provide this information to commercial end consumers on their website, delivery notes and other advertising material.
Companies already implement many obligations that will be required of all packaging in Germany in the future with the RIGK return system. As a result, the additional effort created by the revision will be minimal for RIGK customers.
Amendments to the German VerpackG from 3 July 2021
Status of the RIGK return system
From 3. Juli 2021:
More comprehensive information obligation for final distributors of products in packaging
More comprehensive information obligation by final distributors of products in packaging, who must inform end consumers by appropriate measures to a reasonable extent about the return option and its meaning and purpose.General basic obligation to inform the public
RIGK customers already meet the information obligation via the labelling of their packaging with the RIGK logo, via information on their websites, flyer as well as via delivery or order documents
From 1 January 2022:
Obligation to provide evidence and documentation of compliance with recovery and take-back requirements for
- Packaging (sales, repackaging and transport packaging)
- Packaging of hazardous products annually by 15 May for packaging placed on the German market in the previous calendar year and taken backand recovered (by 15.5.23 for 01.01. - 31.12.2022)Submission at the request of the Land authority
On the basis of the annual certified quantity report (RIGK-, RIGK-G- and PICKUP-SYSTEM), it is possible for RIGK customers to carry out the documentation broken down by material type and mass.
RIGK can provide its customers (at the request of the Land authority) with information on packaging take-back and recycling.
From 2022 (by 1.7.2022 at the latest):
Extension of the registration of industrial and commercial packaging by producers/fillers in sales/transport packaging filled with goods that typically do not accrue to private end consumers
Sales and secondary packaging that is not compatible with the dual system
Sales packaging containing pollutants
No "group privilege" (no "combined reporting" by individual sub-companies)
Changes must be notified
§9 (5) Prohibition of placing on the market
Entry made at LUCID by filler/retailer without specifying quantity (registration platform is not yet activated)
Data to be provided within the scope of registration (§ 9 para. 2):
1. name (according to the commercial register), address and contact details of the manufacturer/producer
2. brand names under which the manufacturer/producer places his packaging on the market (in the case of generic and sub-brands, indication of the generic brand is sufficient)
Without indication of quantity
The obligation may not be fulfilled by third parties (section 35 subsection 1 sentence 2).
From 1. July 2022:Providing financial and organisational means, safeguarded through self-monitoring
Customers in the RIGK return systems already implement this demand
This information is a brief summary of the new obligations resulting from the amendment of the VerpackG.
It does not claim to be exhaustive and does not constitute legal advice. If necessary, RIGK will provide you with legal advice.
If you want to escape the increased administrative burden caused by the amendment of the Packaging Act, get in touch with us.
We will inform you about the advantages of a contract with RIGK without obligation.