Understanding EPR Germany - A Guide For Businesses

Understanding EPR Germany - A Guide For Businesses

Find out more about Extended Producer Responsibility in Germany with our guide.

Businesses involved in the production, import, and sale of various goods in Germany are required to comply with the country’s Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) rules. In this guide, we take a closer look at the German EPR system, from registration to fulfilling ongoing obligations.

What is Extended Producer Responsibility Germany?

Extended Producer Responsibility is a policy framework introduced by the German government in 2022. It’s aimed at holding manufacturers, importers, and retailers accountable for the environmental impact of their products across their entire lifecycle—including disposal and recycling.

Who needs to comply?

This policy affects all companies operating within Germany, regardless of their size or the amount of packaging they handle. Essentially, any company that first places a piece of packaging, an electrical appliance, or a battery on the market in Germany has responsibility. 

EPR Germany: the legal framework

The German EPR scheme encompasses three major legislative acts:

  • The Packaging Act (July 2022)
  • The Electrical and Electronic Equipment Act (January 2023)
  • The Battery Act (January 2023)

German EPR categories

German EPR categories

German EPR regulations are applicable to products belonging to any of the following categories:

  • Packaging: All packaging materials used in the German market must be licensed under EPR laws. This includes primary product packaging and additional shipping materials.
  • Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE): Devices exposed to a voltage up to 1,000 volts (AC) or 1,500 volts (DC) are included. This generally encompasses any item with a plug.
  • Batteries: Automotive, industrial (for commercial or agricultural use), and portable batteries (for hand-carried consumer products) are all included under this category.

Registration and compliance

To comply with German Extended Producer Responsibility regulations, businesses must:

  • Identify their obligations: Determine if their products fall under the categories regulated by the EPR scheme.
  • Choose and register with a compliance scheme: These organizations help businesses meet their EPR obligations and offer various services and fee structures.
  • Provide necessary information and pay fees: Companies must report the quantities and types of products they produce, import, or sell, and contribute financially to the recycling and disposal processes.
  • Fulfill ongoing obligations: This includes updating product data and meeting specific recycling targets.

Special considerations for marketplace sellers

Marketplace sellers, including those on platforms like Amazon, must ensure they are EPR compliant to avoid suspension. This involves registering for a German EPR number and providing it to the marketplace as proof of compliance.

The process of EPR registration

Here’s a quick guide on how to register:

  • Packaging: Secure a licensing agreement and register as a 'producer' with the Central Agency Packaging Register via LUCID.
  • Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE): Register with the Foundation for Waste Electrical Equipment Register (EAR) and appoint an authorized representative if based outside Germany.
  • Batteries: Similar registration process with EAR, with optional appointment of an authorized representative for those outside Germany.

Penalties for non-compliance

Penalties for non-compliance

Failure to comply with EPR regulations in Germany can result in fines of up to €200,000 or a distribution ban, emphasizing the importance of strict adherence to the laws.

How Taxually can help

Registering for EPR in Germany can be a complex process. Each EPR category has its own specific requirements, and it can be easy to miss things or make unintended mistakes. That’s why it’s recommended to seek professional advice to ensure your company is complying with all the requirements of the scheme.

EcoTax by Taxually offers specialized assistance to ensure compliance with EPR regulations, providing services that help businesses understand their obligations, register properly, and manage their reporting and financial contributions effectively.

Book a free call with one of our experts to find out how we can help your business succeed in this new and evolving regulatory environment.

May 13, 2024
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when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries
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