Spanish Packaging EPR– Status Update – 2023 Deadline for Compliance
On the 27th December 2022, Spain introduced the Packaging Act (Royal Decree 1055/2022), which aimed to regulate the introduction, management and disposal of waste packaging by establishing a mandatory compliance system.
Any business that introduces primary (e.g. product) and/or secondary (e.g. shipping) packaging into the Spanish market is considered a ‘producer’ and must comply with the Packaging Act. All producers must obtain an EPR registration and fulfil the associated reporting/payment obligations.
Businesses have until 28th December 2023 to comply with the new packaging registration requirements as laid out in the Packaging Act. Online marketplaces will also begin verification of their sellers to ensure compliance.
Selling on online marketplaces
The Packaging Act also requires online marketplaces to enforce these requirements. Online marketplaces such as Amazon will therefore be required to verify that sellers have obtained a valid Spanish EPR number, if they have any trading activity in Spain.
Failure to obtain a valid EPR registration may result in the online marketplace suspending your account, or automatically enrolling you in a reporting and payment service (please see below for Amazon ‘Pay on Behalf’). Repeated non-compliance may result in extensive financial penalties or revocation of your Spanish VAT registration.
Amazon ‘Pay on Behalf’
Amazon will be enforcing EPR number verification after 31st December 2023. Sellers that have not submitted a valid Spanish EPR number by this date will be automatically enrolled into Amazon’s ‘Pay on Behalf’ service. This means that Amazon will automatically report your packaging usage and collect the eco-contribution fees from your seller account.
What do I need to do?
If you have trading activity in the Spanish market, it is very likely that you will be using primary and/or secondary packaging in the course of shipping or transit. By doing so, you will need to follow the registration requirements as set out by the Packaging Act. All businesses looking to comply with the Packaging Act must register for a VAT (local tax number, which is known as NIF in Spain) as a prerequisite. It is not possible to fulfil EPR compliance requirements without a valid VAT number.
- Register with a Producer Responsibility Organisation (PRO)
Ecoembes is a well-established PRO, and Procircular will soon be another PRO able to take new registrations. If your business is not established in Spain, you will need to appoint an Authorised Representative located in Spain to register with the PRO on your behalf.
- Register with the Producer Register (Registro de Productores de Producto)
The producer register is operated by Miteco – the Spanish Ministry for the Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge. This is a new requirement introduced by the Packaging Act. Your business will be assigned an EPR number (numero de registro) after both registration requirements have been fulfilled.
We understand that this is indeed a very complex process, but you don’t have to worry. TBA is here to provide a full range of services for EPR compliance, which includes all the necessary steps for registration and reporting as outlined above.
What does the EPR number look like?
The format of the EPR number is ENV/YEAR OF REGISTRATION/XXXXXXXXX, where XXXXXXXXX is a 9-digit number. The year of registration refers to the year your business was registered on the producer register managed by Miteco.
What if I am using packaging from a third party (e.g. Amazon FBA)?
The third party will usually be providing secondary packaging – this mostly consists of transit/shipment packaging, plus any protective materials. They will therefore usually be considered the producer of the secondary packaging.
However, your business is still responsible for any primary packaging, such as product packaging.
Are there any ongoing requirements?
Before the 28th February of each year, businesses must submit a report declaring the types and amount of packaging that they used in the previous calendar year – this should be declared to their appointed PRO.
Before the 31st March of each year, businesses must also declare the total volume of packaging used in the previous calendar year – this should be declared to Miteco.
Businesses will be expected to make eco-contribution payments based on the amount of packaging reported – this may be quarterly, semi-annually or annually depending on the PRO’s requirements.
All invoices provided to customers must also contain:
- Your EPR number
- The amount of eco-contribution paid to your PRO
Register with TBA to stay compliant
At TBA, we offer both Spanish VAT and EPR registration and reporting services as your one-stop solution. Get in touch with us at email@example.com for more information.