Using NOVENTIZ to ensure packaging waste
compliance in Germany

German law requires producers and distributors to participate in a dual system of waste recovery and recycling (see below) for the sales packaging used for their goods. This also applies to sales packaging from abroad. The process of including such packaging in a dual system is referred to as sales packaging compliance.

Do you supply packaged goods for sale in Germany?

If so, you are subject to this statutory obligation. Here is everything you need to know.

The German Packaging Act

Under the Packaging Act, packaging compliance is mandatory for both producers and distributors who bring sales packaging into circulation in Germany. In other words, anyone who fills sales packaging with goods for the first time and distributes these packaged goods, typically resulting in the production of waste at a private end customer, must report this packaging (for inclusion in a dual system).

This type of packaging is also referred to as “packaging subject to system participation requirements.”

What is a dual system?

A dual system ensures that packaging subject to system participation requirements can be properly collected from private end customers and sorted, before as much of it as possible is recycled or reused. There are different dual system providers in Germany; they are all subject to the terms of the Packaging Act.

Producers and distributors pay a fee to their chosen dual system, which covers the collection, sorting and recycling of their sales packaging. The fee is dependent on the weight, material type and volume of sales packaging that is brought into circulation. 

All producers and distributors whose packaging ends up as waste with private end customers must include this packaging in a dual system. 

Noventiz Dual

Dual systems such as Noventiz Dual have come into existence because producers, distributors and mail order/online retailers are unable to ensure packaging compliance by themselves. A dual system ensures that packaging can be properly collected from private end customers and sorted, before as much as possible of it is recycled or reused. The use of the system by producers and distributors is paid for through a fee, the amount of which depends on the weight (mass), material type and volume of the sales packaging. 

Since 1 January 2017, Noventiz Dual has served as a dual system for the domestic collection and recycling of sales packaging occurring as waste in some 40 million German households. 

Zentrale Stelle Verpackungsregister –
the packaging registry

All dual systems and all producers (first distributors, online retailers, importers, etc.) are monitored on an ongoing basis by the Zentrale Stelle Verpackungsregister (ZSVR), referred to in English as the packaging registry. Anyone can check the public register (LUCID) free of charge to verify that a producer has properly met its statutory obligations. Producers who do not ensure compliance may be subject to heavy fines.

packaging wast compliance
Stay on the safe side with Noventiz.

Report your packaging online now in English. 

What packaging is subject to system participation? 

Generally, all sales, shipping, service and secondary packaging that results in waste at the level of the private end customer is considered to be subject to system participation. Only transport packaging that remains exclusively with commercial agents does not have to be included in the system. 

For the purposes of the Packaging Act, private end customers are both private households and “comparable waste-producing sources”. These include hospitality venues, small food producers, hotels, canteens, architects, bee-keepers, ice-cream producers and administrative offices such as insurance agents, tax advisors and law firms. Agricultural operations and craft businesses are also included. 

Sales packaging

• Product cartons that are presented along with the product on the shelf
• Polystyrene shells inside a product box
• Plastic bags
• Crisp packets
• Drink cans

Transport packaging

• Shipping pallets
• Plastic wrap
• Plastic straps
• Cardboard covers
• Wooden boxes

Service packaging

• Plastic shopping bags
• Take-away cups
• Bakery bags

Secondary packaging

• Carry boxes (e.g. beer carriers)
• Plastic packaging containing several bars of chocolate
• Cigarette papers

Shipping packaging

• Cardboard boxes
• Packing chips
• Shredded paper
• Shipping envelopes

Who has to report packaging for the purposes of packaging compliance?

Whether or not a producer or distributor is required to report sales packaging depends on who first brings the packaging that is subject to system participation requirements into circulation to Germany. Therefore, companies that only produce the basic packaging material are not considered to be producers in the context of the Packaging Act.

Kleinunternehmerin mit Verpackungen im Hintergrund

Small businesses

The Packaging Act obligations are applicable to all sizes of organisation, including small and micro businesses. There is no minimum threshold. Inclusion in the system becomes mandatory as soon as the organisation fills and distributes its first packaging that is subject to system participation requirements. 

Onlinehändler verpackt Ware für den Versand

Online retailers

All commercial online retailers must report their shipping packaging as a minimum. This obligation comes into effect as soon as they fill the first box. If the retailer is also the producer or importer of the goods, they also need to include the volume of product packaging brought to circulation. 

B2B

The Packaging Act imposes a system participation requirement in respect of sales to businesses (B2B sales) where the customer is a comparable waste-producing source, such as an administrative facility, restaurant or agricultural business. Packaging that occurs as waste in these areas must be reported.  

Do you have packaging that is subject to compliance?
Find out here online.

How much does packaging compliance cost?

The fee depends on the volume of sales packaging brought into circulation and on the type of packaging material.
You must include all packaging materials:

Paper, paperboard, cardboard
Paper, paperboard, cardboard

Shipping boxes, folded boxes, paper padding

Plastics
Plastics

Plastic pouches, films, blister packs, tubs, polystyrene chips

Other composite packaging
Other composite packaging

Vacuum packaging for coffee

 

Glass
Glass

Single-use bottles, single-use glasses

Drink carton packaging
Drink carton packaging

Consisting of card and a very thin aluminium and plastic layer

Tin/ferrous metals
Tin/ferrous metals

Conserved goods, drinks cans, bottle caps

 

Aluminium and other metals
Aluminium and other metals

Bottle caps, tubes (cosmetics)

Natural materials and other materials
Natural materials and other materials

Wooden boxes, jute bags, cotton, rubber, copper, ceramic

 

How are the volumes calculated?

When you sign a contract you must provide a forecast of the volume of sales packaging you expect to bring into circulation for the calendar year. The volume of packaging material is expressed in kilograms. There are two approaches: 

You know the weight (mass) of the packaging that you have used.

Multiply the weight of an individual package by the number of packages that have been brought into circulation. The unit weight should be listed by your packaging supplier, in your customer account for example.

You do not have any information about the packaging weight.

Weigh one item of packaging that is subject to the system participation requirements, and multiply this by the number of items. The result of this calculation is the total weight of material brought into circulation.

You can use our calculator tool at Verpackung Direkt to calculate the fee you need to pay for your specific volume of packaging. This tool calculates the price and costs for your volumes and types of packaging material.

Would you like to report your packaging?

Use our calculator tool here. 

How do I report my sales packaging?

You need to meet your obligations under the Packaging Act before you even fill and distribute your first packaging with goods. Here are five easy steps to reporting your packaging:

  1. Register here to be listed in the LUCID database operated by the Zentrale Stelle Verpackungsregister packaging registry. 
  2. Sign up for a contract with NOVENTIZ through our easy-to-use web portal Verpackung Direkt. 
  3. Report the volume of sales packaging you expect to need for the year with us, indicating the registration number that you obtained from the Zentrale Stelle. If your sales volumes fluctuate, use information from previous years to provide a best estimate. 
  4. Send information regarding the reported volume of sales packaging and the name of the dual system you are using to the Zentrale Stelle. 
  5. At the beginning of the following year, submit a Year-end Quantity Report to both the dual system and the Zentrale Stelle. This report must show the actual volume of packaging subject to system participation requirements that has been brought into circulation. 

Using NOVENTIZ to ensure packaging waste compliance in Germany

COMPLIANT

Your inclusion in the NOVENTIZ dual system means you are meeting your statutory obligations.

RELIABLE

We promise to deal with your queries quickly and conscientiously.

EASY

You can report your sales packaging online easily, with just a few mouse clicks.

Sound advice at all times

NOVENTIZ is perfect if you are looking for personal advice and a hassle-free packaging compliance process. Do you still have questions? No worries! Your personal account manager will be available at all times to help you with reporting your sales packaging. We will definitely find a solution to your needs. 

Your one-stop shop 

NOVENTIZ does more than just report sales packaging and transport packaging disposal. As a certified and audited disposal services provider, we also look after site disposal and handle waste electrical items and batteries. 

FAQ

1. What are my obligations under Germany’s Packaging Act?

If you are a first distributor of packaging that will result in the production of waste with the private end customer (e.g. “yellow bag”/“yellow bin”) you must register with the Zentrale Stelle Verpackungsregister packaging registry and sign up to one of the dual systems. 

2. What is the minimum quantity for reporting my sales packaging?

There is no minimum; the amount of packaging subject to system participation requirements that you bring into circulation is not important. As soon as you fill your first packaging with goods and/or distribute your first packaging, you must sign up to a dual system such as the one operated by NOVENTIZ. There are no exceptions. Distributors, producers, online retailers and small and micro businesses have to report their sales packaging, just like eBay and Amazon. 

3. When do I need to report my sales packaging?

We recommend that you report your packaging subject to system participation requirements at the beginning of the year, as the compliance system applies for a calendar year. At that point you simply have to provide an estimate of the sales packaging you intend to bring into circulation. The actual fee to be paid will depend on the type and weight (mass) of packaging actually placed on the market. 

NB: make sure you register and sign up before you start selling or producing goods. You must have already done this before distributing packaging for the first time!

Reporting will generally cover one calendar year. That means that even if you report your packaging part way through the year it will be effective retrospectively from 1 January. Most of the dual systems in operation therefore operate on a contract period running from 1 January to 31 December.

If you have forgotten to report your packaging subject to system participation requirements in good time, you should rectify this as quickly as possible. The penalties for non-compliance include fines and even a ban on sales. To sign up for a period that has already ended, simply enter the actual volume of packaging brought into circulation for the corresponding year. This Year-end Quantity Report must be sent to us as your dual system operator and to the Zentrale Stelle Verpackungsregister packaging registry. 

4. What are the penalties if I don’t comply with the new Packaging Act?

Organisations are required by law to include their packaging that is subject to system participation requirements in one of Germany’s dual systems. You will be in breach of the Packaging Act if you fail to report packaging or report an incorrect volume of packaging. You risk fines of up to €200,000 and a ban on sales. Moreover, your competitors may report you for non-compliance. The Zentrale Stelle packaging registry is open to inspection and clearly shows which producers have reported their packaging and which have not, so you can check up on others in the marketplace. This is the Zentrale Stelle’s contribution to transparency and fair competition.

5. Does the Packaging Act provide for exemptions below a minimum threshold?

There are no minimum thresholds for packaging below which producers or distributors are exempt from the reporting obligation. You must report your sales packaging as soon as you fill your first box. 

However, there is a upper threshold for packaging brought into circulation above which an extra obligation under the Packaging Act applies, alongside registration and reporting. 

Organisations producing in excess of this volume of packaging are required to submit a “Declaration of compliance”. This must be confirmed by a registered expert, auditor, tax advisor or certified accountant and submitted to the Zentrale Stelle. 

The threshold for the declaration of compliance is set at the following levels per year: 

  • Glass: 80,000 kg or above
  • Paper, paperboard, cardboard: 50,000 kg or above 
  • Plastic, metal, composites (total): 30,000 kg or above 

6. Can I sign up to one of the dual systems without a registration number?

No. You have to have a registration number before you can sign up for a contract with one of the dual systems. 

This is mandatory: register first, then sign up.

7. Are there any special rules for reporting service packaging?

Yes, service packaging is covered by a special rule. The difference is that service packaging is not filled with goods until the point of sale, for example when a loaf is placed in a bag by the sales assistant at the baker’s shop. Therefore, if the final distributor, in this case the baker’s shop, is the one to fill the service packaging and bring it into circulation, the shop does not necessarily have to have its own registration number for inclusion in one of the dual systems. Instead, it can use previously reported packaging from its supplier or request that the upstream distributor report the packaging for inclusion in a dual system in the upstream distributor’s own name and registration number. 

Note: shipping packaging always has to be reported.

8. Can I reuse packaging?

Of course! Used packaging is often perfectly serviceable and it would be a waste to simply dispose of it. However, you must remember to re-report it to one of the dual systems if you want to use it when selling goods to an end customer. Why? When you fill the packaging with your goods it becomes sales packaging or distribution packaging. 

The system participation requirement for reused packaging is only waived if the distributor shows that the used packaging has already been reported to one of the systems. 

We recommend that you stay on the safe side and report the full quantity of packaging you need, to ensure that you do not have to worry about being fined. 

9. Do foreign businesses or importers have to report their packaging in Germany?

  • Do foreign businesses or importers have to report their packaging in Germany?

Yes. Any packaging that is imported into Germany must be reported under the Packaging Act. This is because it falls under the scope of the Packaging Act (i.e. Germany) as waste produced at the private end customer. The reporting obligation lies with the company that imports the relevant packaging into Germany. This is generally the importer which ships the goods into the country or causes them to be imported. 

Foreign producers and distributors who sell directly to customers in Germany are obliged to report their packaging. There is no difference here between importers located in other Member States of the EU and those from non-EU countries. 

Have you got any other questions about packaging compliance in Germany?

Send us an e-mail here.