Amazon and the extended producer responsibility
How to get an EPR number
Some traders who sell their products on Amazon have recently received a mail that is causing great uncertainty. The mail is written in English and asks the traders to provide their EPR registration number, as they have been identified as a producer by Amazon.
Extended Producer Responsiblity, or “EPR” for short, is on everyone’s lips at the moment. This primarily affects traders who put all kinds of packaging, electrical and electronic equipment and batteries on the market. Since we are receiving an increasing number of enquiries on this topic, we would like to explain how you can obtain an EPR number.
What does EPR mean?
The abbreviation EPR stands for “Extended Producer Responsibility”. It means that manufacturers are responsible for their products. Starting with the design, through distribution, to take-back and the resulting proper disposal or recycling. The aim of extended producer responsibility is to keep the environmental impact caused by the entire product life cycle as low as possible.
Who is subject to EPR registration?
You are considered an EPR-registrant manufacturer if you:
- manufacture a product that is covered by the EPR regulations in the relevant country.
- Import a product that is covered by the EPR regulations in the relevant country.
- sell a product covered by the EPR regulations in the relevant country and you are not a resident of that country.
What many people do not know is that even if you are not a manufacturer and you still sell products that fall under the EPR regulations, you must request an EPR registration number. This request is made to the upstream supplier.
If a product is not yet registered, you must register the product yourself.
As long as a product is not registered, it must not be brought into circulation.
For which products do you need an EPR number in Germany?
EPR-registrable product categories are as follows:
- Electrical and electronic equipment (EEE)
- Batteries and accumulators.
What do marketplaces mean by an EPR registration number?
By EPR registration number is meant one of the existing registration numbers with one of the official EPR organisations. In Germany, the following registration numbers are valid as EPR proof of conformity:
- WEEE registration number for electrical and electronic equipment (EEE).
- Battery registration number for batteries & accumulators.
- Registration number for all types of packaging.
How to prove your ERP registration to Amazon
The EPR compliance proof is the packaging registration number (LUCID), the WEEE registration number, and the registration number under the Battery Act. Affected retailers will thus have to provide these numbers as ERP registration numbers.
Amazon itself wants to provide a link to upload the registration number. Affected retailers face sanctions if they fail to comply with the registration obligation: Products that are not registered may no longer be sold and shipped. If this is violated, manufacturers and traders, but also platform operators and service providers, are threatened with fines and warnings.
You are still unsure? We will be happy to help you with all your questions about the EPR number!
Austria: Online trading platforms liable for retailers’ and manufacturers’ packaging waste from 2023
From 1 January 2023, for the first time in Austria, operators of electronic marketplaces (platforms) will have to ensure in their contracts with traders and manufacturers that the latter comply with the legal requirements on the collection and recycling of packaging, disposable plastic products, waste electrical equipment and portable batteries. The planned amendment to the Waste Management Act (AWG) serves as the basis for this. Possible penalties for non-compliance are 8400 euros.
Who is affected?
So-called fulfilment service providers who offer the service of warehousing, packaging, addressing or shipping for foreign manufacturers (excluding postal, parcel delivery or other freight service providers) must ensure this. If this is not done, the operator of the marketplace (e.g. Amazon, eBay) must exclude the respective manufacturer or trading company from using the platform or the fulfilment service provider must refrain from providing this service.
Regulations have been circumvented so far
Especially webshops from the Asian region often did not participate in any collection and recovery system so far and thus did not pay a dispensation fee. The resulting redistribution had almost exclusively burdened Austrian traders; now more fairness in competition would be created.