Warnings letters regarding the German packaging act are increasing
Legal errors are increasingly causing warnings in eCommerce. These are not only annoying but also, first and foremost, expensive. In Germany in particular, a real warning letter industry has emerged with its own warning associations that aim to find errors in online shops. Not only online shops are affected. Warnings can affect all actors in the value chain (manufacturers, fulfillment service providers, shipping service providers, etc.)
In July, the law office “Sandhage” (29%) and the “IDO” (18%) again issued the most frequent warning letters. The VsW e.V., the Association of Social Competition e.V., and the VgU, the Association against Worse in Trade and Commerce Cologne e. V., accounted for 7%. 43% of the warnings were from eBay dealers, 14% from Amazon dealers.
The German law against warning letter abuse only ensures a change in strategy
After the German law against warning letter abuse came into force, warning lawyers only changed their strategy. Instead of OS link and contract text storage, the issues of EIA, missing information on biocidal products, insured shipping, material labeling and the lack of registration according to the packaging law are now warned. Warnings relating to the Packaging Act in particular are becoming increasingly popular.
Lawyers who are focust on warning letters are doubly favored here. On the one hand, the restrictions of the new law against the abuse of warning letters do not apply to warnings under packaging law and, on the other hand, the control of (non) compliance with the packaging law is done quickly. This can be checked with just a few clicks via the public LUCID register. This means that countless companies can be checked and warning letters sent within a very short time.
Violations of the packaging law are gladly warned
For the reasons mentioned above, violations of the Packaging Act are currently the top priority for warnings. Anyone who, as a retailer, fills packaging with goods and delivers it to end consumers is obliged to register and license the packaging material in accordance with the applicable packaging law. There are basically no exceptions for small businesses or certain types of packaging. The fact that these obligations are still neglected by many dealers is something that more and more warnings are making their own, especially when the new warning law is in force. Failure to comply with the packaging regulations can still be warned as before.
But not only domestic misconduct can be warned. Even those who violate the rules abroad can expect a warning. The subject is very complex, so that most companies are hardly able to set themselves up in accordance with the law on their own. To be on the safe side, it is advisable for companies to turn to professionals so that compliance with the specifications is guaranteed.
Why should competitors issue warnings?
Compliance with the requirements of the Packaging Act results in a not inconsiderable administrative effort for the companies concerned and ultimately also additional costs in the context of implementation and system participation. These costs must be taken into account when determining the price. A company that does not comply with the Packaging Act can thus offer lower prices and has a competitive advantage. This gives the competitor an unfair competitive advantage. By means of warnings, the “disadvantaged” companies have a tool to defend themselves against these practice and to ensure equal opportunities.
You received a warning letter – You can do that now!
As annoying as a warning letter is, you should definitely not ignore it. However, it is also important that you do not make hasty concessions. Warnings relating to the Packaging Act are based almost exclusively on easily detectable errors that can be warned on a large scale without great effort. However, the attached claims are rarely reasonable and should be reviewed by a lawyer. What you can do is:
- Keep the deadlines set
- Do not rush to respond to the attached claims
- Rely on professionals – we will help you comply with legal requirements!
Warning letters for violations of the Packaging Act are very popular. It is made easy for lawyers who are focused on that topic because (non) compliance with the Packaging Act can be quickly checked in the public LUCID register.
We urgently recommend online retailers and everyone else in the supply chain to inform themselves about their obligations under the Packaging Act and to fulfill them conscientiously in order to arm themselves against warnings under packaging law. If you are unsure, please contact us. We would be happy to advise you and ensure compliance with the legal requirements in your company.