Extended Producer Responsibility for marketplaces - what it means for producers

Lauren Shrimpton, Senior International Account Manager, investigates EPR for marketplaces and what this means for producers that sell via online marketplaces such as Amazon.

What is Extended Producer Responsibility for marketplaces?

Due to a rise in online retail sales, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, the volume of packaging entering waste streams across Europe has significantly increased in the past few years.

The European Commission conducted a study highlighting these issues, which has resulted in some member states producing guidance on new initiatives to reduce waste and to hold producers accountable for non-compliance.

Countries are beginning to make changes to their packaging waste legislation and introduce new extended producer responsibility (EPR) requirements for marketplaces. France and Germany have already introduced these new obligations, while others, such as Austria and Spain, have plans to do so soon.

These changes aim to encourage producers, who primarily sell via a third party, to reduce the environmental impact of their packaging.

What does it mean for producers?

Currently, the requirement for marketplaces to acquire compliance registration numbers from companies using their platforms has only been implemented in France and Germany, but this is expected to be introduced in other countries across Europe.

If a producer fails to provide marketplaces with evidence of compliance with specific EPR regulations in relevant countries, the platform can halt the distribution of the company’s products until compliance is established.

Marketplaces can also block non-compliant producers from selling via their website if products are not labelled correctly or are not compliant with waste legislation.

How to be compliant with EPR for marketplaces in Germany

If manufacturers or producers sell through an online marketplace and place any packaged or electronic products onto the German market – they are obligated to provide their EPR numbers to that marketplace.

To comply with the Packaging Waste Regulations, obligated parties must register with the Central Registry. A completed application will provide a registration number which can then be provided to the online marketplace.

Once registered with the Central Registry, producers must also register with a compliance scheme and report the volumes of packaging placed onto the German market.

To comply with the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations, obligated parties must register with Stiftung EAR. A completed application will provide a registration number which can then be provided to the online marketplace.

Companies selling specifically via Amazon have a transitional period to register with the German WEEE Authority, the Stiftung EAR, by 1 June 2023.

As with packaging, producers must also register with a compliance scheme and declare the volume of products placed on the market.

How to be compliant with EPR for marketplaces in France

Since 1 January 2022, marketplaces have been legally obligated to ensure third-party sellers are compliant with waste legislation in France. Obligated producers must register with the relevant compliance scheme to obtain a Unique Identification Number (UID) for each applicable waste stream. This UID(s) must then be provided to online marketplaces.

Producers will receive their UIDs from the French authority, ADEME, once registered with a compliance scheme in France.

In addition to packaging, WEEE, and batteries, the French Government has also implemented EPR requirements for several other waste streams listed below. For each of the waste streams, obligated parties must also provide their UID numbers to the relevant marketplaces.

  • Textiles
  • Furniture
  • DIY/gardening equipment
  • Paper
  • Tyres
  • Chemical packaging
  • Medical equipment
  • Mineral, synthetic, lubricating, or industrial oils
  • Sports and leisure equipment
  • Toys and games
  • Construction equipment

In 2023, packaging used in catering packaging will also be subject to EPR in France.

Producers that have registered with compliance schemes need to declare data on the volume of products or packaging placed onto the French market in line with French legislation.

Valpak International Compliance Service

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To find out more about international environmental legislation and how Valpak can help please call us on 03450 682 572 or complete our online enquiry form.