What to do if you receive a warning due to a violation of the Packaging Act
As frustrating as a warning may be - especially if it comes from notorious warning lawyers - you should not ignore the letter, but also not make any hasty concessions. Warnings related to the Packaging Act are almost exclusively based on easily detectable errors, such as a missing registration in the LUCID packaging register or the lack of packaging licensing with the so-called "Dual System". However, the demands attached to the warning are rarely appropriate and should be reviewed by a lawyer.
- Follow the deadlines set
- Do not rush to comply with the demands attached
- Rely on professionals - we'll handle it for you
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Who is affected by the Packaging Act?
The Packaging Act applies to anyone who commercially fills packaging for the first time and puts it into circulation. If this applies to you, you are considered a manufacturer under the Packaging Act. Therefore, you must register with the packaging register LUCID.
What obligations apply to manufacturers of system-participating packaging?
Since July 1, 2022, three obligations apply to you:
As a manufacturer, you are obliged to register in the packaging register, license relevant packaging with a dual system, and report the data. By the way, there are no minor limits regarding registration. Even small business owners must fulfill their obligations from the first packaging onwards.
Am I affected as an online retailer?As an online shop owner, you are affected by the obligations of the Packaging Act because you fill packaging and use filling material to send your products to customers. Therefore, in the eyes of the Packaging Act, you are a manufacturer or first-time supplier.
Electronic marketplaces must now comply with a control obligation. They may only offer goods from you as an online retailer if you are registered in the packaging register LUCID and have licensed your packaging properly. Otherwise, you must expect a sales ban.
Fulfillment service providers must also check whether you are complying with your manufacturer obligations under the Packaging Act. Otherwise, they may not offer you their services.
How do I fulfill my packaging-related obligations?
The obligations arising for you from the Packaging Act can be easily fulfilled online.
Here's how to register:
Everyone who puts packaging into circulation - system-participating and non-system-participating - must register with the packaging register LUCID. You will receive a registration number that you need for system participation.
Here's how to license packaging:After LUCID registration, you conclude a contract with one or more systems to license your system-participating packaging. Non-system-participating packaging, such as transport packaging, only needs to be registered with LUCID. To conclude a contract, you need your registration number.
Here's how to report your data:
Finally, you report to LUCID your accumulating packaging volumes, including the type of material. This means the data that you have transmitted to a system as part of system participation. You must report every data transmission you enter with a dual system 1:1 to the packaging register LUCID.
This data must be reported:
- Registration number
- Material type and weight of the participating packaging
- Name of the system where the system participation was carried out
- Period for which system participation was carried out
Which packaging must be licensed?
All packaging is subject to licensing under the Packaging Act. This includes system-participating packaging such as:
- Sales packaging
- Shipping packaging
- Service packaging
- Outer packaging
As well as non-system-participating packaging such as:
- Transport packaging
- Reusable packaging
- Deposit-required single-use beverage packaging
- Sales and outer packaging that do not typically generate waste at private end-users after use
- Sales packaging of pollutant-containing filling goods
Why are there so many warnings regarding the Packaging Act?
Well-known warning letter writers like to focus on certain topics, such as legislative amendments. The Packaging Act, in particular, offers warning letter writers the best chance to filter out regulatory violations. A glance at the public Packaging Register is enough for them to know whether you, as an online retailer, are registered. Unfortunately, the restrictions against warning letter abuse do not apply to warnings related to packaging regulations. Therefore, the best way to protect yourself from warnings is to register and participate in a dual system for your packaging.
What are the most commonly warned packaging violations?
In principle, every packaging that is distributed in commerce must be licensed. Therefore, almost every online retailer is required to register with the Foundation Central Packaging Register (LUCID). Failure to comply may result in significant fines.
1. Missing or incorrect registration
Whether system-participation obligations exist or not: Since July 1, 2022, you must register with the Packaging Register LUCID if you first fill and bring packaging into circulation.
2. No special case: Direct shipping
Using direct shipping from abroad to your customers does not mean that you are exempt from registration and packaging licensing. As a rule, you are responsible for the shipment as the client/retailer, unless the sender has expressly assumed the obligation. You bear the legal responsibility for the shipment at the border crossing, and therefore also for the packaging-related obligations.
What penalties can I expect for violating the Packaging Act?
If you violate the registration and licensing obligations, significant fines can be imposed. If you have failed to license or cannot provide proof of licensing, the following legal consequences are possible:
- Violations can be punished as administrative offenses with fines of up to 200,000 euros per violation.
- A competition law warning can be issued by consumer protection associations or competitors. We represent you in all instances as part of the Unlimited or Professional Membership.
Good to know
- In case of doubt, you must prove that the packaging has been licensed properly.
- Additional outer packaging or filling materials required for shipping are also subject to licensing.
- For imported goods, you must take care of the licensing of the packaging and shipping packaging yourself.
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