# EPR Compliance
WEEE Compliance in Germany Deadline 6 Months Left
Are you affected by EPR regulations as a merchant or manufacturer in Germany?
Extended producer responsibility (EPR) is a principle whereby merchants and manufacturers are responsible for a product throughout its lifecycle: from design to disposal and recycling. Nor is the focus merely on the product itself. EPR accounts in particular for all of the packaging and (product) parts placed on the market: these have to be disposed of by the consumer, and the product distributor is again assigned responsibility for these disposal and recycling processes.
In Germany, a merchant’s extended producer responsibility covers packaging, electrical appliances and batteries. The regulations for these three areas are each covered by separate legislation and also differ in some respects. As often used by marketplace operators, EPR should therefore be understood as an umbrella term for these three areas.
A ‘producer’ in the sense of an extended producer responsibility is the company that first places a piece of packaging, an electrical appliance or a battery on the market in Germany. Accordingly, EPR regulations not only affect businesses based in Germany who manufacture and distribute products but also encompass importers involved in importing relevant products onto German territory as well as companies that, while domiciled outside Germany, nonetheless sell their products to German consumers.
Example: Marketplace merchants who sell to German consumers from outside Germany are always affected by the EPR regulations for packaging because they place sales packaging subject to licensing requirements on the market. Other legal duties relating to electrical appliances and batteries may also apply, depending on the product portfolio.
You need to register and ensure that you commission a recycling system to handle the professional disposal of the packaging, electrical appliances, and batteries that you place on the market.
For full details of what you need to do, take a look at the step-by-step guides that we have prepared for each of the affected categories: packaging, electrical appliances and batteries. Feel free to contact us for more information.v
Owing to the sheer volume of merchants that sell via marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, etc., recent legislation has increasingly tasked operators with making the business handled by their platforms more sustainable. In Germany, the relevant laws are the Packaging Act, the Electrical and Electronic Equipment Act and the Battery Act, which impose duties of control on marketplace operators. To fulfil these duties, operators must ensure that those of their merchants who sell to Germany comply with the extended producer responsibility (EPR) that is incumbent on them as a result of their goods (electrical appliances and batteries) and their packaging. As proof of compliance, merchants must provide marketplaces with an ‘EPR number’.
For packaging, marketplaces like Amazon must have completed these checks by no later than July 2022. Merchants unable to provide an EPR number for their packaging by this date are prohibited from using the marketplace to sell to German customers.
From January 2023, these duties of control for marketplaces will be extended to electrical appliances and batteries.
For details of the requirements and Amazon’s approach to handling EPR numbers: Click here.
EPR Compliance Categories in Germany
Register, Appoint a representative (if required), Commission a recycling system
License, Register, Report data
Register, Appoint a representative (if required), Commission on a take-back system
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