EPR in online retail – obligations on the marketplaces
Table of contents:
- EPR in online retail – when are you obliged to do so?
- WEEE for EPR in online retail – what you need to bear in mind
- EPR in online retail and the German Battery Act (BattG)
- What happens if you do not comply with the provisions of the EPR in online trading?
- Dropshipping as an exception to the EPR in online retail
Since 1 July 2022, you must also comply with the guidelines that apply to online trading under the EPR on electronic marketplaces. This has also been the case for Amazon since the deadline. The e-commerce platform is subject to the statutory inspection obligation and is obliged to check manufacturers, sellers and retailers to ensure that they have the corresponding LUCID packaging register numbers in the context of the EPR in online retail and are participating in a system. There is also an obligation to report packaging quantities to both the registered system and the LUCID Packaging Register. If this is not the case, manufacturers must expect fines or even a distribution ban. eBay followed suit on 1 July 2023.
What do you need to look out for with the EPR in online retail, when are you subject to system participation and what obligations do you have in addition to the packaging guidelines with regard to electronic and electrotechnical devices and batteries? We have taken a closer look at this for you.
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As an online retailer or manufacturer, you have long had to comply with the EPR guidelines in online retail. Since 2022 and 2023, this also applies to marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay – even if you use fulfilment services or dropshipping. The EPR in online retail applies to packaging as well as electrical and electrotechnical devices and batteries. In addition to registering with the competent authority, you must also participate in a system and, if necessary, ensure the return of old appliances and batteries.
EPR in online retail – when are you obliged to do so?
As a manufacturer or online retailer, do you send goods to your customers (private and commercial) in shipping packaging, sales packaging, outer packaging or even product packaging or do you have this handled by a fulfilment service provider? Then you will most likely be subject to the guidelines of the Packaging Act (VerpackG) of the EPR in online retail. If you organise your sales within Germany, the corresponding national provisions derived from the EU directive apply. If you are travelling in other EU countries, the local regulations of the EPR in online retail usually apply. As each country has a relatively wide margin of manoeuvre in terms of translation, there are sometimes extensive differences. Due to the complexity, it is advisable to consult an expert. With Deutsche Recycling GmbH, you have a professional specialist at your side who can provide you with a comprehensive range of services in the context of EPR in e-commerce. We take on international compliance and product responsibility for you and offer you comprehensive advice on the German Packaging Act.
In addition to packaging, extended producer responsibility also extends to electrical and electronic equipment and batteries. In this case, you must comply with the requirements of the WEEE directives. This has applied to Amazon since 1 July 2022 and to eBay since 1 July 2023.
WEEE for EPR in online retail – what you need to bear in mind
As a manufacturer and/or retailer as well as a distributor of electronic or electrical equipment on Amazon or eBay, you must register with the EAR Foundation with regard to EPR in online trading and receive the so-called WEEE number for this purpose. They are also required to participate in a certified disposal concept for old appliances. The aim of the EPR in online retail is for you to take responsibility for the environmentally friendly collection, treatment and recycling of appliances in order to increase the recycling rate in Germany in the long term and conserve valuable resources through recycling.
In addition, as part of the EPR, you must guarantee free take-back of old appliances in online retail. You may not charge a shipping fee for this. Also remember your information and labelling obligations, with the label showing the crossed-out waste bin symbol with a black bar underneath, the date of introduction and the brand logo or trademark.
EPR in online retail and the German Battery Act (BattG)
If you place batteries and rechargeable batteries on the market, the regulations of the Batteries Act (BattG) apply to the EPR in the online market. In this case too, registration with the EAR Foundation for the corresponding battery brand and class is required. Likewise, you must guarantee free take-back and proper disposal. To this end, you participate in a nationwide take-back and recycling system.
You are also obliged to inform your customers about the type of battery system and proper disposal via labelling. A distinction is made between portable, encapsulated batteries for appliances, batteries for industrial applications and for use in electric vehicles and batteries for automotive applications.
Measures against illegal exports the and food waste
Another important objective of the EU textile strategy is to combat the illegal export of textile waste. To this end, clear criteria are defined to differentiate between reusable textiles and waste to ensure that textile waste is treated in an environmentally sound manner and is not exported to countries that are not equipped to deal with it.
The strategy also includes specific measures to reduce food waste, which are explained in more detail in a separate document.
Professional advice and support on the EPR for textiles
The EU textile strategy marks a decisive step towards a more sustainable textile industry. It strengthens producer responsibility, promotes the circular economy and actively combats the illegal export of waste. The next challenge now is to carefully monitor the implementation of this strategy and ensure that the textile industry actually becomes more sustainable. The harmonisation of extended producer responsibility in all Member States is a key building block on this path.
Although there is no European Textile Regulation yet, some European countries have taken the lead by taking the first steps and integrating the EPR for textiles into their national laws.
Are you a textile manufacturer and unsure in which European countries the EPR for textiles applies and what obligations you have to fulfil? We at Deutsche Recycling GmbH offer you our services. From compliance checks to the implementation of measures to comply with the EPR for textiles, we offer customised solutions and help companies to focus on their core business and avoid costly sanctions.