Packaging register: No pardon for defaulting companies

Gunda Rachut, Chair of the new National Authority “Zentrale Stelle Verpackungsregister” (ZSVR) explains how the packaging register is to develop quickly into a success story.

By 25 January 2019, an impressive 140,000 companies had already registered in the new packaging register. The deadline for the Packaging Act to enterinto force was 1.1.2019. Is there still another deadline for defaulters?

With the entry into force of the law, all new obligations, in particular the obligation to register and submit data messages in the LUCID packaging register, will apply to all companies falling within the scope of the Packaging Act as of this date. At the same time, of course, from this point on, all the consequences that are provided for by law in the event of non-compliance with the law, an automatic ban on sales, which applies until through to the last operator vendor of the goods, and fines of up to EUR 200,000 euros are also threatened.

Do you have an estimate of the actual number of persons parties obliged to register, and by when should most of them be registered in the packaging register?

So far, we expect approximately 230,000 to 260,000 registered companies by the end of 2019. In 2019, we will shall further intensify and communicate the information on the new obligations of the new law, so that we will then adjust our planning again in the course of the year.

Large corporations such as Henkel, Nestlé, etc. knew in advance that they were obliged to do so. But what about companies, especially small ones, that have not fulfilled realised that they havetheir such aduty? How are will such companies achieved be reached?

In 2018, we made a wide range of information about the Packaging Act and the new obligations available. This was done both via various communication channels of the Central Packaging Register (ZSVR) as well as via multipliers. The website with all important information was launched already in August 2018.

At the same time, we gave lectures on the subject at manyChambers of CommerceIHKs, AHKs and associations throughout the year, produced explanatory films and papers on the subject, compiled an extensive FAQ catalogue and put set up a telephone support service into operation to support companies with technical questions on registration.

All channels and modules have were already been used already in 2018, especially by small and medium-sized enterprises. This is the only way to explain that we have already received the number of registrations mentioned. We can see from the continuing dynamism that the message has reached the market across all industries and companies with its their various dimensions. The information work will continue in the current year 2019.

A corresponding catalogue on the ZSVR website is intended to help companies identify packaging subject to system participation. Is one automatically exempt from the obligation if a specific packaging cannot be found there?

No. In such cases, it must be clarified whether the packaging in question is salespackaging, repackaging or shipping packaging filled with goods. If this is the case, the packaging is subject to system participation in the system.

At present, the catalogue on the obligatory participation in the systemparticipation obligation for packaging comprises 36 product groups with 417 individual sheets. The aim of the catalogue is to cover the majority of the packagingsof all relevant consumer goods or their sectors, so that the obligation to participate in the systemparticipation obligation can beisclearly derivedevident. Other products not yet covered will be added as part in the course of the revisions.

The smaller the companies subject to registrationare, the more likely it is that there will be anlack of informationdeficit. Do bakers, butchers, snack bars, ice cream parlours, flower shops, haberdashery shops etc. know that they have to register? Have such retailers even been informed at all by anyone?

Especially in this area we know that the information about the new obligations has arrived. For example, the companies concerned were actively informed by the German Confederation of Skilled Crafts and the numerous chambers Chambers of trade Crafts, guilds and trade journals represented in each federal state, as well as by advisory service providers.

How can defaulting and above all ignorantly unknowingly defaulting enterprises be identified by the ZSVR?

The ZSVR is currently developing the area of data analysis. The controls and identifications of defaulting companies begin with research into publicly available data on providers suppliers and comparison with the information in our database. Further checks range from various plausibility checks to comparison with purchased market research data.

In addition to the manufacturers’sdata, we also have the complementary reports of from the dual systems. This means that the packaging quantities which the obligated companies report to the LUCID packaging register are compared with the data reports which the (dual) systems report to the register Register on the basis of the registration numbers. This is new and companies is are currently becoming a matter of awareof this ness amongcompanies. Deviations can be detected quickly in this way.

How are identified defaulters dealt with? Do they first receive a reminder or are they immediately fined a six-figure sum?

The responsibility for enforcement lies with the federal states.;Tthe preliminary examination is carried out by the ZSVR. In the event of a proven administrative offence, the ZSVR will hand over a file with the corresponding evidence documents to the enforcement authorities of the federal states. Since autumn 2017, a working group has been set up with the Länder federal states with whom which we coordinate and decide when which what information is to be transmitted in what form to which authorities.

For a snack bar operator, for example, a six-figure fine would be meanruin. On the other hand, Procter & Gamble would have little regard forhardly noticesuch an amount. Are there turnover-based fines?

Fines must in principle be based on the gravity of the infringement and do not serve to ruin companies economically. In this respect, it will not ruin the snack bar operator. However, if a fine is significantly lower than the presumed fulfilment of the obligation, administrative law provides for the so-called absorption of profits. In these cases, the amount saved amount is skimmed off and an additional fine is imposedin addition. This has already been practised by the Länder federal states in the past.

 

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