Big deadlines ahead for online marketplaces in Germany

Don’t get caught out by new obligations for packaging and electronic goods

Online marketplaces and fulfillment service providers operating in Germany will soon be subject to new extended producer responsibility obligations for packaging and electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) that they place on the market.

For packaging, the new obligations are based on the recently amended Packaging Law: operators of electronic marketplaces must not offer packaged products if the sellers of these products do not comply with their legal obligations. Seller of products on the marketplaces must therefore be registered as manufacturers/distributors of packaging with the Stiftung Zentrale Stelle Verpackungsregister (“ZSVR”) and license the packaging with a compliance scheme.

In addition, fulfillment service providers are not allowed to carry out any activities, such as storing, packaging or dispatching goods, for manufacturers without proper registration with the competent authority and/or appropriate licencing of the packaging of products.

Violations of these requirements can be punished with a fine of up to 200,000 euros. The regulations will take effect from 1 July 2022, and apply to both product and shipping packaging.  With these regulations, each individual marketplace participant/user of fulfillment services will be held accountable. In addition, the marketplace operator/fulfilment service provider itself must demonstrably document that it is complying with the legal requirements.

Similar regulations will come into force on 1 January 2023 for the placing on the market of EEE. Operators of electronic marketplaces must not offer this equipment – and fulfilment service providers must not carry out warehousing, packaging, addressing, or shipping – if the manufacturer of this equipment is not properly registered. Again, non-compliance could result in fines of up to 100,000 euros.

As an operator of compliance schemes for both packaging and EEE, Landbell Group provides marketplace operators with a simple and unique solution for ensuring compliance with the above regulations. Please contact us for more information and support.

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