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This article applies to selling in: Netherlands

EPR Requirements: Packaging in Germany

What EPR categories are relevant when selling in Germany?

In Germany, Amazon will be obliged to check if you comply with your EPR obligations in two product categories: (1) packaging and (2) Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE).

This page focuses on your requirements for packaging. For information on EEE, go to EPR Requirements: Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) in Germany

For packaging, you will need to prove your compliance to Amazon by submitting a registration number (LUCID number) on Compliance Information for Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) by June 14, 2022. Amazon will start blocking non-compliant listings starting June 15, 2022 to comply with the EPR legal requirement that comes into effect on July 01, 2022.

Note: At this stage, you can only add a LUCID number for packaging on the EPR Compliance Portal. While you must be registered if you sell products in other product categories (for example, EEE), you cannot submit other registration numbers for Germany to Amazon yet. We will keep you updated in 2022 on when you can submit additional registration number(s) for EEE. In the meantime, we encourage you to read the detailed instructions for packaging below.

What happens if you cannot prove your compliance to Amazon?

  • Starting July 01, 2022, Amazon will be legally obliged to check if you comply with your obligations in Germany and, if you do not, suspend your non-compliant listings.
  • Amazon will start blocking non-compliant listings starting June 15, 2022 for all listings using both primary (that is product packaging) and/or secondary (that is shipping packaging, including FBA packaging).
  • Therefore, the deadline to submit your registration number (LUCID number) on Compliance Information for Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is June 14, 2022.

We highly recommend that you act immediately to avoid the risk of your listings being blocked.

Be aware that the estimation of the annual volumes of packaging on which eco-fees will be paid can be a lengthy process (it has taken up to 20 days for some sellers) and that Amazon needs five days to validate your LUCID registration number.

Where can I find more information on EPR for Germany?

For more information, we encourage you to get familiar with the German Packaging Law (VerpackG). In addition, refer to the information below and the website of the government authority.

What is changing and what do I need to do?

Starting July 01, 2022, the following important changes will come into force:

  • Amazon will be legally required to check if you comply with your obligations for packaging in Germany and suspend your non-compliant listings.
  • All producers of packaged goods in Germany must register in the LUCID packaging register. Previously, this only applied to producers of packaging subject to system participation.
  • You will be considered the producer for Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) packaging used for shipping your products, if applicable. Amazon will be responsible for FBA packaging until June 30, 2022.

To prove your compliance to Amazon, go to Compliance Information for Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) and submit your LUCID registration number. Amazon may reserve the right to contact you for additional information, for example, to ask for a system participation certificate, if required.

What do I need to do to comply for packaging in Germany?

For an overview of what you need to do and for the information materials for online retailers provided by the Central Body Packaging Register (Zentrale Stelle Verpackungsregister – ZSVR), go to this link and take a look at this summary. If you are a producer, you need to take the following steps:

Step 1: Registration in the LUCID packaging register

  • Register as a “producer” in the LUCID packaging register and provide your brand names.
  • After registrations, you will obtain your LUCID number that is required to enter into a system participation contract with a system (PRO).
  • For more information about the registration process, go to the checklist by clicking on the link.

Step 2: Entering into a system participation contract

  • Determine the packaging volumes you sell in Germany by type
  • If your packaging is subject to system participation, enter into an agreement with one or more systems (PROs) and provide them with your LUCID number.
  • For more information about the systems, go to overview.

Step 3: Reporting packaging volumes

  • Submit data reports and pay fees to the systems (PROs) on a regular basis.
  • Log into the LUCID packaging register here.
  • Click on Data reporting and submit the exact same data report provided to a system.
  • For detailed information about data reporting, check here.

How do I determine if I am a producer?

In the context of the German packaging law, you are considered a producer if you are the first to place packaging filled with goods in Germany on a commercial basis.

  • This is usually the manufacturer who produces and packages the product.
  • It may also include retail companies that distribute own brands if (1) the packaging is filled by a third party on behalf of a retail company and (2) if the packaging bears only the name and/or brand of the retail company.
  • Importers are also producers if they bear legal responsibility for the goods at the time they cross the border.
  • Online retailers that fill shipment packaging with goods for the first time also count as producers.

For detailed guidance, go to info graphic by ZSVR.

How do I determine if my packaging is subject to system participation?

If your packaging is subject to system participation, you will need to enter a system participation contract with one or more systems (PROs). According to the German packaging law, packaging subject to system participation is defined as packaging that typically accumulates as waste with private final consumers. This includes retail packaging, grouped packaging, service packaging and shipment packaging.

If your packaging is not subject to system participation, you do not need a system participation contract (though you may still need a registration). According to the German packaging law, this includes transport packaging[1], reusable packaging, single-use beverage packaging subject to deposits, retail packaging for hazardous contents and retail grouped packaging that does not typically accumulate as waste with private final customers.

For more information, go to info graphic by ZSVR. You can also take a look at ZSVR’s catalogue to determine if your packaging is subject to system participation.

[1] According to the German packaging law, transport packaging is used for protecting or securing products during transport and storage but is not intended to be used by the final customer. This can include cardboard boxes in which products are combined and bundled as well as films around beverage cans, bubble wrap or transport pallets made of cardboard. Secondary packaging that is used for shipping products to the final customer does not count as transport packaging.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

ZSVR has compiled a summary of frequently asked questions in this info sheet: FAQ by ZSVR. Additional guidance can be found below.

1. How can I become compliant for packaging in Germany?

For more information about the solutions Amazon offers to help you meet your EPR compliance requirements, go to Amazon solutions for Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) compliance.

Amazon solutions currently available include:

  • EPR Services Provider Network (SPN)

    EPR SPN service is a store on our Amazon Seller Central partner network that allows our sellers access to vetted service providers offering Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) services. They assist sellers with EPR registration and reporting obligations and act as the point of contact for all questions on EPR compliance. We have created the SPN network to increase the number of agencies you have access to and can use to achieve compliance within the tight deadlines given by authorities (for example, July 01, 2022 for DE packaging).

    Go to EPR Service Provider Network page to access vetted service providers, review their services and select a preferred Service Provider to work with.

    Note: Price negotiations and service providers selection is strictly done by sellers and registrations and reporting are done offline between both parties.

    Upon conclusion of registration process and receipt of the registration number from the authorities, you must upload the registration number on Compliance Information for Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) on Seller Central.

  • Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Manual for Packaging Germany

    The manual offers step-by-step guidance on how to comply with EPR German packaging law by June 30, 2022, and report your packaging volumes.

2. I’m already compliant for packaging in Germany, what do I need to do?

  • If you’re already registered for EPR Packaging in Germany, submit your LUCID registration number on Compliance Information for Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR).
  • Once provided on Seller Central, it may take Amazon up to five business days to validate the number.
  • Once validated by Amazon, the status next to your number will change from “Submitted” to “Valid” or “Invalid + reason for invalid”. If the status is “Valid” no further action is required from you, and you can disregard these notifications. However, if the status is “Invalid”, refer to the reason provided and take appropriate action.

3. I’m not compliant for packaging in Germany, what do I need to do?

For more information about the solutions Amazon offers to help you get a LUCID Registration Number, go to Amazon solutions for Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) compliance.

4. If I am responsible for secondary packaging from FBA starting July 01, 2022, how can I track the related costs?

At the moment Amazon EPR Reports provide estimation of your primary packaging for both AFN (Amazon Fulfilment Network) and MFN (Merchant Fulfillment Network) sales on Amazon store. Reports are available on EPR Category Reports, with Amazon EPR report FAQ and EPR Report field definitions to support you further with EPR reporting.

5. Where can I see how many secondary packaging Amazon has used for the shipment of the products I sold?

We will share the EPR report with the total amount of secondary packaging used by Amazon to ship your products by FBA service starting Q3' 2022. The report will be available on a monthly, quarterly and annual basis covering period from July 01, 2022.

6. How high are the costs related to secondary packaging that I should expect approximately?

Typically, a fraction of a Eurocent per item. Details can be provided by the systems (PROs). For a list of systems, go to overview by ZSVR.

7. Who will be paying the costs related to secondary packaging if the product is shipped together with another product from another seller (regarding FBA)?

The costs will be shared by all sellers. Amazon is working on a methodology to split the fees between sellers. We will let you know as soon as this becomes available.

8. How does Amazon validate my LUCID registration number?

Amazon will validate this number with ZSVR within five business days after submission. We will notify you when the validation result is available. Consider that Amazon will use your VAT/taxpayer reference number, your company name and address to validate your LUCID number. Ensure that the data on the LUCID packaging register matches the one you have provided to Amazon.

9. My LUCID number shows as invalid. What do I need to do?

After you submit your LUCID number on Seller Central, Amazon will validate your submission with the appropriate government agency or PRO. It may take Amazon up to five business days to validate the registration number.

Once validated by Amazon, the status next to your number will change from “Submitted” to “Valid” or “Invalid + reason for invalid”. If the status is “Valid” no further action is required from you, and you can disregard these notifications. However, if the status is “Invalid”, refer to the reason provided and take appropriate action.

If any of these conditions apply, resubmit the correct number. If none of these conditions apply, you can reach out to Selling Partner Support through Seller Central. In June 2022, we will provide you with an option to appeal offer suppressions and will share details later in Q2.

10. Can I appoint an authorized representative to fulfill obligations on my behalf?

Only international companies without a branch in Germany can appoint an “authorized representative” to fulfill packaging law regulations for them. With the exception of registering in the LUCID Packaging Register, the authorized representative assumes responsibility for all of your obligations under the German packaging law and fulfills them in their own name. The one-time registration requirement in LUCID is a personal obligation that rests with you, the original party under obligation. For more information go to website of the ZSVR.

11. I can no longer send inbound inventory for Amazon FBA in Germany. What do I need to do?

Amazon will start blocking inbound FBA inventory on June 15, 2022 if you are non-compliant. To unblock your inbound inventory, confirm that you comply with the requirements for packaging by visiting the EPR Compliance Portal.

12. I only use drop shipping. Do I need to register in LUCID and do I need to have a system participation contract?

As a drop shipper, you buy products from a third party who packages them and sends them directly to the customer. This happens without you touching the product yourself. In some cases, this can imply that you are not the producer. If the third party is a fulfillment service provider and you use their services, you may be considered the producer of the secondary packaging which is used for shipping your products. According to the German packaging law, fulfillment services are services that include at least two of the following activities: warehousing, packing, labelling and shipping. For the clarification issued by ZSVR, go to this document.

If you use drop shipping and are not a producer, contact Selling Partner Support and indicate that you are not a producer because of drop shipping. Be aware that it may take several business days to close this investigation and we may need to contact you for details.

13. I am not a producer. What do I need to do?

If you are not a producer, contact Selling Partner Support and indicate that you are not a producer. Be aware that it may take several business days to close this investigation and we may need to contact you for details.

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