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Registration in the LUCID - packaging

Registration with LUCID is an obligation, failure to do so risks heavy fines.      

As of 01.01.2019, an amendment to the German Packaging Act came into force under the name VerpackG. 

It introduced the LUCID public packaging register, tightening the regulations previously in force under the VerpackV packaging regulation.

How does this apply to European businesses? 

A very large number of traders supplying goods to the German market thereby introduce packaging into the German market. They are therefore obliged to register with LUCID and to complete all the formalities arising from this registration.   

LUCID is a public register administered by the Zentrale Stelle Verpackungsregister (EN - Central Packaging Register).

Importantly, the Register is open to the public, which means that any customer can check whether a particular retailer or manufacturer from whom they have purchased goods is registered with LUCID.

Who is responsible for packaging and must register with LUCID?

The law imposes new obligations on companies placing product-filled packaging on the German market for the first time (DE - Erstinverkehrbringer), even if they are based outside Germany.

In the case of foreign entities, e.g. Polish exporters, product liability at the moment of crossing the border, which is considered to be the fact that the product was placed on the market in Germany, is decisive.

This applies to manufacturers, distributors as well as entrepreneurs selling their products online. It does not matter whether we send our products to another company in Germany (e.g. a wholesaler or another distributor who resells the goods) or whether we sell our goods to the retail end customer. The key is who is sending the goods and who appears on the label.

The seller is only responsible for the packaging if the introducer is not named on the packaging. Therefore, the obligation to register applies to a foreign entity, e.g. a Polish entity, if it is identified on the label as the producer or is the producer's representative and if it is responsible for the goods when crossing the border.

Importantly, the law does not mention minimum limits - i.e. anyone who commercially markets their goods for the first time in Germany is obliged to comply with the regulations associated with the VerpackG packaging law.

Registration with LUCID must be made by those marketing packaging to the private final consumer. However, the products do not have to go directly to the private final consumer. Rather, it is a question of whether they reach households at the final distribution stage.

Packages required to be registered are:

  • pre-packaging (sales packaging) - used to protect goods and products and ensure their safe handing over to the consumer
  • service packaging - used at the point of sale to hand over goods to the consumer (e.g. bread bag, takeaway coffee cups, pizza boxes, etc.).
  • delivery packaging - for delivering goods to consumers (e.g. shipping cartons, filling materials such as bubble wrap, etc.).

The new obligations do not apply to: transport packaging, dangerous goods packaging and single-use beverage packaging subject to a deposit (e.g. water, fizzy drinks, beer, etc.).

It is worth registering with LUCID first and foremost to avoid financial penalties. According to German law, you have to declare the quantities and type of packaging and pay a recycling fee on the declared quantities of packaging.

Failure or incomplete registration is punishable by a fine of between €100,000 and €200,000. Fines are not only imposed on German companies, but also on foreign companies.

Traders who place packaging on the market in Germany, which ultimately goes to private consumers, are obliged to register in the LUCID system and sign a recycling organisation contract in Germany, in other words a recycling contract (dual system).

If you need help registering with LUCID and signing a recycling organisation agreement in Germany, write us on dorota.kitala@merxu.com. Our merXu logistics expert Dorota Kitala will assist you throughout the process.