When will Italy introduce the single-use plastic tax?

The introduction of the single-use plastic tax in Italy was originally planned for July 2020. It has now been postponed for the sixth time and is due to come into force on 1 July 2024. The tax aims to tax single-use packaging and plastic products. In this article, we explain what legal changes retailers can expect for their shipments to Italy as a result of the introduction of the tax.

Single-use plastic tax in Europe: what's behind it

The EU Single-Use Plastics Directive aims to create standardised regulations within the EU to reduce the impact of certain plastic products on the environment. For example, the use of certain single-use plastic products such as stirrers and drinking straws has been banned. In addition, the so-called plastic levy was introduced in 2021.

It is a further means of reducing the environmental risks posed by plastic pollution and serves, among other things, to protect the environment and promote the circular economy. The focus in the EU is on plastic packaging waste. The plastic levy obliges all EU member states to make a payment (plastic levy), which is calculated based on the amount of non-recycled plastic waste.

Due to the lack of EU-wide guidelines for implementing the levy, there is a patchwork of regulations and legislation. This makes it difficult for international retailers and companies to sell their products in different EU countries. It is therefore all the more important to familiarise yourself with the respective legislation of the countries at an early stage so as not to miss any deadlines or new requirements.

Plastic tax in Italy: implementation and effects

To finance the EU plastic tax, the Italian Budget Act 2020 (Law 160/2019) passed the plastic tax on 27 December 2019. Among other things, this applies to single-use plastic packaging and plastic devices used for the closure, marketing and presentation of single-use items. Exceptions apply to packaging made from compostable plastics and packaging for medical articles, as well as recycled plastic material.

Who has to pay the tax?

All companies that manufacture or distribute the aforementioned products in Italy and are based there are taxed. Traders from other member states who import goods into Italy and sell them to private end customers are also liable to pay tax. Companies without a registered office in Italy must appoint a (jointly and severally liable) tax representative in Italy to fulfil their obligations.

What retailers should bear in mind

With the planned introduction in July, the Italian tax will amount to €0.45 per kilogramme of new plastic contained, with an exemption for amounts under €25. It is intended to incentivise the use of environmentally friendly packaging options. If the plastic tax is not paid properly, taxable traders face heavy fines. These can be between two and five times the amount of the unpaid tax. Penalties may also be imposed for late payments.

Although the further postponement of the introduction in Italy raises questions about implementation and effectiveness, it is to be hoped that the early introduction will represent a further step towards more sustainable practices in the packaging industry in the interests of sustainability. The plastic tax is also being discussed in other countries. Companies that operate in more than one EU member state should therefore regularly check the applicable national regulations. You can find out which regulations currently apply in Spain or Germany in our blog.

LIZENZERO.EU makes packaging compliance in Europe very easy.

Do you ship your products to different countries in the EU? Many different legal requirements and obligations can make the whole thing quite complicated – but don’t worry, we’ll do it for you. How do we do it? With our licensing service, we take over all obligations for you by power of attorney. Sounds good? We’ll be happy to advise you.

For shipping to Germany, you can easily fulfill your packaging obligations yourself via Lizenzero.de.

EPR systems for packaging in comparison: a country overview

EPR systems for packaging in comparison: a country overview

In the EU, retailers and manufacturers who place products on the market are subject to certain environmental responsibilities. Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is a way of obliging companies to take responsibility for the entire life cycle of their products. This includes not only the product itself, but also all packaging and (product) components put into circulation that are disposed of by end consumers. The exact areas covered by the EPR vary from country to country. In this article, we take a look at the EPR in the area of packaging and shed light on what exactly the requirements mean, how they are implemented in practice and how the requirements differ from country to country within the EU.

read more
When will Italy introduce the single-use plastic tax?

When will Italy introduce the single-use plastic tax?

The introduction of the single-use plastic tax in Italy was originally planned for July 2020. It has now been postponed for the sixth time and is due to come into force on 1 July 2024. The tax aims to tax single-use packaging and plastic products. In this article, we explain what legal changes retailers can expect for their shipments to Italy as a result of the introduction of the tax.

read more
EPR obligations in Poland: volume threshold and registration obligation

EPR obligations in Poland: volume threshold and registration obligation

Since 13 June 2013, the handling of packaging waste in Poland has been regulated by the Act on Packaging and Packaging Waste Management (Journal of Laws 2019.542). Among other things, it sets out requirements for packaging, the handling of packaging waste and regulations regarding recycling fees. This means that companies in Poland are subject to extended producer responsibility (EPR). The EPR regulations are intended to ensure that companies take responsibility for the disposal of their packaging and thus contribute to the promotion of the circular economy. The EPR entails obligations regarding the handling of a company’s own products and packaging. In the following article, we shed light on what you need to consider as a retailer on the Polish market.

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Packaging law in Finland: EPR regulations since January 2024

Since January 2024, registration has been mandatory for all packaging producers in Finland, regardless of their revenue. With the abolition of the turnover threshold of one million euros at the beginning of the year, Finland is now making significantly more companies responsible for contributing to the costs of recycling their packaging. In this article, we shed light on what you need to consider as a retailer or manufacturer in Finland.

Extension of the EPR obligation in Finland

In order to reduce the impact of packaging and products on the environment, Finland has adapted its EPR (Extended Producer Responsibility) regulations. Registration with a collective system has been mandatory in Finland since 2024, whether for big players or newcomers. By removing the exemption limit for companies with a turnover of less than one million euros, Finland is taking a major step towards protecting the environment and resources. The adjustment in the Finnish definition of a producer is entirely in line with EU regulations.  

This means that all companies in Finland, regardless of their turnover or size, must now fulfil their extended producer responsibility for their packaging.  

There are also changes in the area of service and agricultural packaging. Producers or importers of service packaging, such as pizza boxes or coffee-to-go cups and agricultural packaging intended for agricultural products, now also fall under the definition of producer in the Finnish Packaging Act. Since then, the producer is responsible for the packaging, not the companies that actually fill the packaging and hand it out to customers. The regulation relieves the burden on small shops and restaurants. 

What retailers and producers need to know now

If you are a foreign company packaging products for the Finnish market or importing packaged products and have a permanent location or branch in Finland or sell packaged products from abroad to Finnish end customers, you are responsible for fulfilling your Finnish EPR obligations.  

Your obligations include registering with a collective system such as Rinki (where you pay a one-off registration fee and annual customer fees) and preparing an annual report on the quantities of your own packaging waste for the Finnish authorities. You also pay annual recycling fees depending on your packaging volumes. If you do not register with a collective system, you are free to set up your own system for collecting, sorting and recycling your packaging, but this involves a lot of bureaucracy.

Eco-Fees in Finland

Saving fees with recyclable packaging? It’s possible! To encourage companies to use recyclable packaging, Finland, like some other EU countries, is implementing eco-modulation.  

This means that you can reduce your recycling fees for packaging based on its recyclability. Fees for packaging made of mono-material, i.e. packaging made of only one type of plastic, are therefore lower than for packaging made of different types of plastic.   

Finland has been implementing this regulation since 2023. At the beginning of 2024, the regulation was expanded to include categories for metal and paper.

New boost for environmental protection in Finland thanks to EPR

With the extension of the EPR obligations in the packaging sector by removing the turnover limit, almost 30,000 companies in Finland will be made more responsible. Costs will be distributed more fairly and recycling will be more effective. Although this increases the administrative burden for some companies, the extension represents an opportunity for the circular economy and thus for environmental and resource protection.

LIZENZERO.EU makes packaging compliance in Europe very easy.

Do you ship your products to different countries in the EU? Many different legal requirements and obligations can make the whole thing quite complicated – but don’t worry, we’ll do it for you. How do we do it? With our licensing service, we take over all obligations for you by power of attorney. Sounds good? We’ll be happy to advise you.

For shipping to Germany, you can easily fulfill your packaging obligations yourself via Lizenzero.de.

EPR systems for packaging in comparison: a country overview

EPR systems for packaging in comparison: a country overview

In the EU, retailers and manufacturers who place products on the market are subject to certain environmental responsibilities. Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is a way of obliging companies to take responsibility for the entire life cycle of their products. This includes not only the product itself, but also all packaging and (product) components put into circulation that are disposed of by end consumers. The exact areas covered by the EPR vary from country to country. In this article, we take a look at the EPR in the area of packaging and shed light on what exactly the requirements mean, how they are implemented in practice and how the requirements differ from country to country within the EU.

read more
When will Italy introduce the single-use plastic tax?

When will Italy introduce the single-use plastic tax?

The introduction of the single-use plastic tax in Italy was originally planned for July 2020. It has now been postponed for the sixth time and is due to come into force on 1 July 2024. The tax aims to tax single-use packaging and plastic products. In this article, we explain what legal changes retailers can expect for their shipments to Italy as a result of the introduction of the tax.

read more
EPR obligations in Poland: volume threshold and registration obligation

EPR obligations in Poland: volume threshold and registration obligation

Since 13 June 2013, the handling of packaging waste in Poland has been regulated by the Act on Packaging and Packaging Waste Management (Journal of Laws 2019.542). Among other things, it sets out requirements for packaging, the handling of packaging waste and regulations regarding recycling fees. This means that companies in Poland are subject to extended producer responsibility (EPR). The EPR regulations are intended to ensure that companies take responsibility for the disposal of their packaging and thus contribute to the promotion of the circular economy. The EPR entails obligations regarding the handling of a company’s own products and packaging. In the following article, we shed light on what you need to consider as a retailer on the Polish market.

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Eco-Fee Modulation: What’s behind the EU subsidisation of packaging

Eco-Fee Modulation: What's behind the EU subsidisation of packaging

European packaging legislation and the role of the authorized representative
Europe

Eco-fee modulation may sound complicated, but it can have a positive impact on your packaging licence costs in various European countries. In addition to the obvious advantages in terms of environmental protection and marketing, sustainably designed packaging is also becoming more interesting because there are increasing political efforts to promote this type of packaging. An important instrument in this context is eco-fee modulation, which is part of the circular economy policy at both national and European level. In this article, we show you exactly what this is all about and how you can benefit from it.

Briefly explained: This is the Eco-Fee Modulation

Eco-Fee Modulation is an instrument to promote the European circular economy. It is intended to incentivise companies to increase the use of recyclable packaging. Some EU countries are already using it to differentiate the licence or recycling costs in their respective EPR systems.  

Specifically, modulation aims to incentivise the development of sustainable packaging designs by differentiating the licence fees for sales packaging. In short, companies that use environmentally friendly packaging pay lower licence fees to the EPR systems and thus save costs. On the other hand, packaging that does not fulfil the requirements of eco-modulation is taxed more heavily and is therefore more expensive. This approach is an important step towards an environmentally conscious economic policy that promotes ecological sustainability. 

Packaging licensing in Europe

In the European Union, the Packaging Directive requires companies that put packaging into circulation to ensure its disposal. This principle is known as extended producer responsibility (EPR). However, the specific requirements and obligations vary from country to country, as each country has developed its own laws to implement the EU directive. However, the basic principle remains the same everywhere: companies that put packaging into circulation pay a licence fee to an EPR system that is responsible for the collection, sorting and recycling of packaging waste.

In Germany, for example, companies fulfil their obligations by registering and reporting data in the LUCID packaging register and licensing their packaging with a dual system such as Interseroh+ via Lizenzero. Do you ship to the EU? With our licensing service, we can easily fulfil all your obligations per country for you! 

Eco-fee modulation in practice

The standardisation of the eco-fee at European level is a desired goal, but implementation currently varies greatly from country to country. While certain materials are already taxed in some countries, others have not yet introduced eco-fees. Incentive models in the form of eco-fee modulation have already been introduced in France, the Netherlands, Belgium and Finland. However, the exact structure varies from country to country.   

In principle, however, the recyclability of packaging, on which the eco-fee is based, is orientated towards the following criteria:  

  • Sortability and separability  
  • Source material (paper, plastic, metal, glass)  
  • Residual emptiability
  • Contaminants in the material 

Lizenzero.eu helps

Do you ship to different EU countries? We take care of your packaging licensing! On top of that, we can also check for you whether the design of your packaging meets the requirements of Eco-Fee modulation in your target markets. If the design of the packaging does not yet meet the Eco-Fee requirements, we can also support you in adapting your packaging to the standards on request.

LIZENZERO.EU makes packaging compliance in Europe very easy.

Do you ship your products to different countries in the EU? Many different legal requirements and obligations can make the whole thing quite complicated – but don’t worry, we’ll do it for you. How do we do it? With our licensing service, we take over all obligations for you by power of attorney. Sounds good? We’ll be happy to advise you.

For shipping to Germany, you can easily fulfill your packaging obligations yourself via Lizenzero.de.

EPR systems for packaging in comparison: a country overview

EPR systems for packaging in comparison: a country overview

In the EU, retailers and manufacturers who place products on the market are subject to certain environmental responsibilities. Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is a way of obliging companies to take responsibility for the entire life cycle of their products. This includes not only the product itself, but also all packaging and (product) components put into circulation that are disposed of by end consumers. The exact areas covered by the EPR vary from country to country. In this article, we take a look at the EPR in the area of packaging and shed light on what exactly the requirements mean, how they are implemented in practice and how the requirements differ from country to country within the EU.

read more
When will Italy introduce the single-use plastic tax?

When will Italy introduce the single-use plastic tax?

The introduction of the single-use plastic tax in Italy was originally planned for July 2020. It has now been postponed for the sixth time and is due to come into force on 1 July 2024. The tax aims to tax single-use packaging and plastic products. In this article, we explain what legal changes retailers can expect for their shipments to Italy as a result of the introduction of the tax.

read more
EPR obligations in Poland: volume threshold and registration obligation

EPR obligations in Poland: volume threshold and registration obligation

Since 13 June 2013, the handling of packaging waste in Poland has been regulated by the Act on Packaging and Packaging Waste Management (Journal of Laws 2019.542). Among other things, it sets out requirements for packaging, the handling of packaging waste and regulations regarding recycling fees. This means that companies in Poland are subject to extended producer responsibility (EPR). The EPR regulations are intended to ensure that companies take responsibility for the disposal of their packaging and thus contribute to the promotion of the circular economy. The EPR entails obligations regarding the handling of a company’s own products and packaging. In the following article, we shed light on what you need to consider as a retailer on the Polish market.

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What you should know about extended producer responsibility (EPR) in Hungary

Since 1 July 2023, new regulations regarding extended producer responsibility (EPR) have been in force and therefore also new obligations for retailers in Hungary. Hungary is implementing the EU directives and rethinking its responsibilities for waste.  

In the following article, we will show you what you need to consider now. 

Current EPR requirements in Hungary

On 1 July 2023, Hungary tightened the regulations regarding extended producer responsibility in the country. Since then, online retailers in particular have been held more accountable. If you sell goods and packaging to Hungary, they must be licensed with an EPR system from the first kilogramme. This now also applies to retailers who do not have a Hungarian VAT number. Foreign companies that are obliged to obtain an EPR licence must appoint a Hungarian representative for this purpose.  

In addition to the licensing of packaging, there are further obligations for companies that fill packaging with goods for the first time or have it filled and sell it to private individuals. Additional registration with the MOHU licence company and the Hungarian environmental authority is required. In addition to packaging, some product categories are also subject to the new EPR levies.

EPR around packaging

Until now, packaging did not have to be licensed in Hungary. However, companies above a certain annual turnover with a VAT number pay a product fee through the environmental tax. Since July 2023, however, all distributors of packaging, with or without a VAT number, are now obliged to contribute to the recycling costs. The new EPR requirements replace the previously applicable “product fee for environmental protection”. Since April 2023, the companies concerned have had to register on the MOHU Partner Portal and with the environmental authority.   

The registration and payment obligation always applies to the first Hungarian distributors and also applies if an online shop based outside Hungary sells goods to end consumers in Hungary.   

Unlike in France or Italy, however, there is no labelling obligation for packaging.

EPR requirements for other product categories

In addition to packaging, the new EPR regulations also apply to textiles, wooden furniture, batteries and WEEE products (electrical and electronic equipment).  

If you sell these products in or to Hungary, registration with the above-mentioned bodies and an EPR levy are also mandatory. Retailers are also responsible for the effective disposal of these products. 

Summary: EPR for more environmental protection in Hungary

The extension of the EPR obligations for manufacturers and retailers in Hungary presents them with new challenges in terms of their registrations, but also due to the costs associated with the EPR levy.    

At the same time, however, these adjustments will also trigger the implementation of more sustainable practices, which in turn will benefit the environment. In addition, the circular economy is strengthened and environmental protection is promoted.  

You need support in implementing your obligations in Hungary? We are happy to help!

LIZENZERO.EU makes packaging compliance in Europe very easy.

Do you ship your products to different countries in the EU? Many different legal requirements and obligations can make the whole thing quite complicated – but don’t worry, we’ll do it for you. How do we do it? With our licensing service, we take over all obligations for you by power of attorney. Sounds good? We’ll be happy to advise you.

For shipping to Germany, you can easily fulfill your packaging obligations yourself via Lizenzero.de.

EPR systems for packaging in comparison: a country overview

EPR systems for packaging in comparison: a country overview

In the EU, retailers and manufacturers who place products on the market are subject to certain environmental responsibilities. Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is a way of obliging companies to take responsibility for the entire life cycle of their products. This includes not only the product itself, but also all packaging and (product) components put into circulation that are disposed of by end consumers. The exact areas covered by the EPR vary from country to country. In this article, we take a look at the EPR in the area of packaging and shed light on what exactly the requirements mean, how they are implemented in practice and how the requirements differ from country to country within the EU.

read more
When will Italy introduce the single-use plastic tax?

When will Italy introduce the single-use plastic tax?

The introduction of the single-use plastic tax in Italy was originally planned for July 2020. It has now been postponed for the sixth time and is due to come into force on 1 July 2024. The tax aims to tax single-use packaging and plastic products. In this article, we explain what legal changes retailers can expect for their shipments to Italy as a result of the introduction of the tax.

read more
EPR obligations in Poland: volume threshold and registration obligation

EPR obligations in Poland: volume threshold and registration obligation

Since 13 June 2013, the handling of packaging waste in Poland has been regulated by the Act on Packaging and Packaging Waste Management (Journal of Laws 2019.542). Among other things, it sets out requirements for packaging, the handling of packaging waste and regulations regarding recycling fees. This means that companies in Poland are subject to extended producer responsibility (EPR). The EPR regulations are intended to ensure that companies take responsibility for the disposal of their packaging and thus contribute to the promotion of the circular economy. The EPR entails obligations regarding the handling of a company’s own products and packaging. In the following article, we shed light on what you need to consider as a retailer on the Polish market.

read more

Ban on Single-Use Plastic in the Netherlands: What You Need to Know

Ban on Single-Use Plastic in the Netherlands: What You Need to Know

European packaging legislation and the role of the authorized representative
Europe

Since January 2024, a ban on certain single-use plastic products has been in effect in the Netherlands. The ban also applies to the use of microplastics in cosmetic products. These new regulations are aimed at reducing plastic consumption in the Netherlands and protecting the environment in a sustainable manner. In this post, you will learn which products are affected and what else you need to consider.

The Background of the Ban

As in many other EU countries, single-use plastic is increasingly under scrutiny in the Netherlands to protect the environment. Based on the Single-Use Plastics Directive (EU) 2019/904 of the European Parliament, more and more EU member states are implementing regulations to reduce the environmental impact of certain plastic products. 

Since July 2023, for example, Dutch consumers have been paying an additional fee for their single-use plastic cups or containers, especially for to-go products. The fee also applies to paper cups with a plastic lining and to-go packaging available in supermarkets. Since January 2024, the additional regulation on Single-Use Plastic has been in force. As a result of this regulation, various single-use plastic products are no longer available in Dutch stores. Instead, there is a shift towards environmentally friendly and reusable alternatives. 

In addition to this regulation, a ban on the use of microplastics in cosmetic products has come into effect. The ban on these tiny plastic particles, which are found in many personal care products, is intended to help improve water quality and protect our marine ecosystems.

These Products Are Affected:

  • Plastic bags, straws, single-use plastic cups 
  • Single-use plastic containers, tableware, and cutlery 
  • Styrofoam cotton swabs, balloon sticks, and stirrers 
  • Styrofoam food packaging 
  • Microplastics in cosmetic products    

Implementation of the Ban in Trade and Gastronomy

The new regulation distinguishes between consumption or consumption on-site and consumption on the go, resulting in slightly different interpretations for trade and gastronomy. The Dutch government sets guidelines for the surcharge that consumers must pay for single-use plastic products. For instance, the proposed surcharge for cups is 25 cents per cup, 50 cents per meal, and five cents for small storage containers.

Single-Use Plastic in Retail

Consumers pay an additional fee for single-use containers with plastic content for ready-to-eat meals at places like supermarkets, bakeries, or kiosks where on-site consumption is not provided. The amount of the surcharge can be determined by the respective companies. However, the costs must be listed separately on the receipt so that consumers can clearly see what they are paying for the use of single-use plastic products. There is no additional fee for containers with food that are not directly ready to eat and, for example, need to be heated before consumption. 

If on-site consumption is offered, single-use containers with plastic may not be provided. Instead, retailers must offer a reusable option or allow customers to bring their own containers.

Single-Use Plastic in Gastronomy

For on-site consumption, it is prohibited for restaurateurs to provide single-use containers made of plastic. Instead, reusable tableware must be used or the use of customers’ containers must be offered. 

However, for takeaway or delivery of food, single-use containers can be used as long as customers pay an additional fee for the containers. Again, the surcharge must be listed separately on the bill. Alternatively, reusable alternatives with a return system or customers’ containers can also be used here.

Single-Use Plastic in Businesses

Since 2024, the ban on single-use plastic also applies to corporate canteens, offices, or institutions. Washable tableware must be used here. Alternatively, reusable containers or customers’ containers can also be used. An exception is made for healthcare facilities such as hospitals.

Conclusion: Ban Serves Environmental Protection

With these measures, the Netherlands is implementing the EU directive to reduce single-use plastics. The measures are intended to reduce the large amounts of single-use plastic waste and strengthen the use of reusable alternatives. In the long term, this should protect the environment and strengthen the use of recyclable materials.

LIZENZERO.EU makes packaging compliance in Europe very easy.

Do you ship your products to different countries in the EU? Many different legal requirements and obligations can make the whole thing quite complicated – but don’t worry, we’ll do it for you. How do we do it? With our licensing service, we take over all obligations for you by power of attorney. Sounds good? We’ll be happy to advise you.

For shipping to Germany, you can easily fulfill your packaging obligations yourself via Lizenzero.de.

EPR systems for packaging in comparison: a country overview

EPR systems for packaging in comparison: a country overview

In the EU, retailers and manufacturers who place products on the market are subject to certain environmental responsibilities. Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is a way of obliging companies to take responsibility for the entire life cycle of their products. This includes not only the product itself, but also all packaging and (product) components put into circulation that are disposed of by end consumers. The exact areas covered by the EPR vary from country to country. In this article, we take a look at the EPR in the area of packaging and shed light on what exactly the requirements mean, how they are implemented in practice and how the requirements differ from country to country within the EU.

read more
When will Italy introduce the single-use plastic tax?

When will Italy introduce the single-use plastic tax?

The introduction of the single-use plastic tax in Italy was originally planned for July 2020. It has now been postponed for the sixth time and is due to come into force on 1 July 2024. The tax aims to tax single-use packaging and plastic products. In this article, we explain what legal changes retailers can expect for their shipments to Italy as a result of the introduction of the tax.

read more
EPR obligations in Poland: volume threshold and registration obligation

EPR obligations in Poland: volume threshold and registration obligation

Since 13 June 2013, the handling of packaging waste in Poland has been regulated by the Act on Packaging and Packaging Waste Management (Journal of Laws 2019.542). Among other things, it sets out requirements for packaging, the handling of packaging waste and regulations regarding recycling fees. This means that companies in Poland are subject to extended producer responsibility (EPR). The EPR regulations are intended to ensure that companies take responsibility for the disposal of their packaging and thus contribute to the promotion of the circular economy. The EPR entails obligations regarding the handling of a company’s own products and packaging. In the following article, we shed light on what you need to consider as a retailer on the Polish market.

read more

The plastic tax in Europe: current requirements

Plastic waste is a major environmental problem if it is not or cannot be recycled. To curb the risks posed by plastic pollution, the European Union (EU) introduced a plastic levy for its member states in 2021. In the following article, we take a closer look at how this is being implemented in various countries.

The plastic levy: what is it?

The plastic levy is a way of reducing the environmental risks posed by plastic pollution. In the EU, the focus is on plastic packaging waste. The so-called plastic levy has therefore been in place since 2021. This obliges all EU member states to make a payment based on the amount of non-recycled plastic waste produced in each country. The plastic levy is intended to create an incentive to reduce plastic waste. At the same time, it serves as funding for the EU budget until 2027.

The amount of the plastic levy is 0.80 euros per kilogramme of non-recycled plastic packaging waste. Every member state is obliged to pay this levy. However, it is up to the Member States to decide how to finance this levy. There are still no EU legal requirements for the national organisation. Some pay the levy from their national budgets, while others have introduced taxes, fees or contributions for certain plastic products in their countries and thus pass the levy on to consumers and the private sector.

Plastic tax vs. plastic levy: what's the difference?

The two terms are often used interchangeably. However, the plastic levy is an EU-wide method for calculating the contributions to the EU budget that each EU member state must make. The term plastic tax, on the other hand, refers to the refinancing of the plastic levy at national level. This is not subject to any EU directives. The individual member states have the freedom to organise this. A plastic tax is therefore not levied in every country.

Plastic tax for companies and retailers

In order to be compliant when selling goods and packaging abroad, companies must always be aware of the latest developments in their export countries. Whether a plastic tax applies to retailers or producers varies greatly from country to country. The structure of the tax also differs at national level, which can result in billing and pricing implications for companies. For example, it is necessary to consider which materials or products fall under the respective tax regulations and in which part of the supply chain they are taxed. All of this requires financial and human resources, which can be a hurdle for small companies in particular.

Current requirements and laws in Europe

While some EU countries focus exclusively on packaging, i.e. both plastic and non-plastic packaging, others draw stricter boundaries and only tax single-use or non-reusable plastics. The origin of the plastics or packaging also plays a role in taxation, depending on the country. In some member states, for example, a tax is levied on plastic products originating both domestically and abroad, while in others only foreign plastic products are taxed.

Here we explain what these regulations actually look like in some EU countries:

Germany

Germany is currently planning to introduce a plastic tax for manufacturers and importers of single-use plastic packaging. However, it is not yet known when a draft law will be available.

However, according to the Disposable Plastics Fund Act (EWKFondsG) adopted in 2023, manufacturers and importers will be obliged to make a contribution to a central fund from 1 January 2025. The contribution is calculated based on the quantities of single-use plastic put into circulation by the respective companies in 2024.

France

There are currently no finalised plans for a plastic tax in France. Here, the national budget finances the plastic tax.

More information on France can be found here.

Italy

The introduction of a plastic packaging tax was already planned in Italy for 2020. After several postponements, it is now set to come into force in 2024. The plan is to levy a tax of €0.45 per kilogramme on single-use plastic products, known as “manufatti con singolo impiego” (MACSI). Exceptions are to be made for single-use plastic products that are compostable or used for medical purposes. Companies that manufacture these products in Italy or supply them to Italy from other member states are to be taxed. Companies without a registered office in Italy must appoint a (jointly and severally liable) tax representative in Italy to fulfil their obligations.

The Netherlands

There are currently no finalised plans for a plastic tax in the Netherlands. However, the introduction of a plastic tax to finance the plastic levy is being examined.

In the Netherlands, however, a contribution that is not considered a tax is levied on plastic packaging. Companies that import 50 tonnes or more of plastic packaging onto the Dutch market each year or dispose of these quantities after importing them pay a regular rate of 1.05 euros. A reduced rate of 0.79 euros per kilogramme applies to companies whose plastic packaging has a positive market value and can be properly sorted and recycled.

Poland

Poland does not yet have a plastic tax for companies. However, in order to avoid packaging waste, a recycling fee law has been in force since January 2018.

In March 2023, the Polish parliament also passed a law to implement EU Directive 2019/904/EU on reducing the impact of certain plastics on the environment. The aim is to reduce the amount of single-use plastics on the Polish market through reporting obligations, product-related fees and annual levies. The obligations mainly apply to companies that introduce products to the Polish market for the first time.

Foreign companies that import single-use plastics to Poland can appoint an authorised representative to fulfil the obligations in connection with the marketing of their products.

Spain

A tax on non-reusable plastic packaging products has been in force in Spain since 2023. Among other things, this implements the EU directive on single-use plastics in Spanish law. This is intended to curb the production and use of plastic products. The tax of 0.45 euros per kilogramme applies equally to the manufacture, import and intra-Community purchase of non-reusable plastic packaging. This includes single-use packaging with plastic, semi-finished plastic products for single-use packaging containing plastic and products containing plastic that enable single-use packaging to be placed on the market. Recycled plastic, packaging used for the protection, manipulation, distribution and presentation of specialised medical, agricultural and veterinary products and plastic packaging exported directly from a manufacturer to another Member State or outside the EU are exempt from the tax. In addition, however, a tax is levied on the incineration and landfilling of waste.

Further information on Spain can be found here.

Conclusion: patchwork plastic tax

Among other things, the plastic levy serves to protect the environment and promote the circular economy. However, due to the current lack of EU-wide guidelines for implementing this levy, it has unfortunately also created a patchwork of regulations and legislation that can present a hurdle for internationally active retailers and companies when selling their products. Companies that operate in more than one EU member state must therefore carefully check the nationally applicable regulations.

As the plastic tax is currently being discussed in many countries, companies should already consider it in their business strategies and assess the potential impact. Flexible, resource-saving packaging solutions can be a first approach.

LIZENZERO.EU makes packaging compliance in Europe very easy.

Do you ship your products to different countries in the EU? Many different legal requirements and obligations can make the whole thing quite complicated – but don’t worry, we’ll do it for you. How do we do it? With our licensing service, we take over all obligations for you by power of attorney. Sounds good? We’ll be happy to advise you.

For shipping to Germany, you can easily fulfill your packaging obligations yourself via Lizenzero.de.

EPR systems for packaging in comparison: a country overview

EPR systems for packaging in comparison: a country overview

In the EU, retailers and manufacturers who place products on the market are subject to certain environmental responsibilities. Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is a way of obliging companies to take responsibility for the entire life cycle of their products. This includes not only the product itself, but also all packaging and (product) components put into circulation that are disposed of by end consumers. The exact areas covered by the EPR vary from country to country. In this article, we take a look at the EPR in the area of packaging and shed light on what exactly the requirements mean, how they are implemented in practice and how the requirements differ from country to country within the EU.

read more
When will Italy introduce the single-use plastic tax?

When will Italy introduce the single-use plastic tax?

The introduction of the single-use plastic tax in Italy was originally planned for July 2020. It has now been postponed for the sixth time and is due to come into force on 1 July 2024. The tax aims to tax single-use packaging and plastic products. In this article, we explain what legal changes retailers can expect for their shipments to Italy as a result of the introduction of the tax.

read more
EPR obligations in Poland: volume threshold and registration obligation

EPR obligations in Poland: volume threshold and registration obligation

Since 13 June 2013, the handling of packaging waste in Poland has been regulated by the Act on Packaging and Packaging Waste Management (Journal of Laws 2019.542). Among other things, it sets out requirements for packaging, the handling of packaging waste and regulations regarding recycling fees. This means that companies in Poland are subject to extended producer responsibility (EPR). The EPR regulations are intended to ensure that companies take responsibility for the disposal of their packaging and thus contribute to the promotion of the circular economy. The EPR entails obligations regarding the handling of a company’s own products and packaging. In the following article, we shed light on what you need to consider as a retailer on the Polish market.

read more

EPR in Sweden: The amendments to 2024 at a glance

EPR in Sweden

EPR in Sweden: The amendments to 2024 at a glance

Verpackungsrichtlinie Österreich
Grüner Punkt packaging labeling in Spain

With the new amendments to the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Regulation, Sweden is clearly demonstrating how producer responsibility can be comprehensively implemented. The Swedish government has decided to make fundamental changes to the EPR regulation for packaging, which have been fully effective since 2024. The changes to the law affect a wide range of stakeholders. Why all this? Sweden is pursuing a major goal: recycling is to be made easier and more efficient in order to save raw materials and reduce CO2 emissions.
The amendments not only place obligations on distributors of packaging, but also redistribute roles and responsibilities and affect municipalities, producers, producer responsibility organisations (PROs) and deposit systems. We look at the changes in detail:

This is what the changes mean for producers and producer responsibility organisations

All manufacturers of packaging are obliged to join or establish a recognised Producer Responsibility Organisation (PRO). The activities of these organisations must be approved by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency.Producers must also register with the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency and participate in a take-back system.

What the changes mean for municipalities and local authorities

Since 1 January 2024, municipalities and local authorities have assumed operational responsibility for the collection of packaging waste from households and selected businesses. They play a key role in providing information on preventive measures and the correct sorting of packaging waste. By 1 January 2027 at the latest, all municipalities must introduce a door-to-door collection system for packaging waste. Collection will be based on material types such as paper, plastic, metal and glass. In addition, bulky packaging waste and materials such as wood, ceramics and textiles must be collected at accessible collection points or municipal recycling centres.

This is what the changes mean for deposit systems

The updated regulation also includes provisions for deposit systems as applied to bottles and cans. Responsibility for these systems has been transferred from the Swedish Board of Agriculture to the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency from 1 January 2023. Existing systems can retain their approval until 1 January 2027, after which they will be reassessed in accordance with the new guidelines.

EPR in Sweden: Far-reaching commitment

These extensive changes emphasise Sweden’s commitment to environmental protection and recycling. For companies that sell products to end customers in Sweden, it is crucial to be aware of the new responsibilities and act accordingly.
The EPR Sweden 2024 regulation represents not only a change, but also a significant step in terms of packaging responsibility that will contribute significantly to reducing the environmental impact.

LIZENZERO.EU makes packaging compliance in Europe very easy.

Do you ship your products to different countries in the EU? Many different legal requirements and obligations can make the whole thing quite complicated – but don’t worry, we’ll do it for you. How do we do it? With our licensing service, we take over all obligations for you by power of attorney. Sounds good? We’ll be happy to advise you.

For shipping to Germany, you can easily fulfill your packaging obligations yourself via Lizenzero.de.

EPR systems for packaging in comparison: a country overview

EPR systems for packaging in comparison: a country overview

In the EU, retailers and manufacturers who place products on the market are subject to certain environmental responsibilities. Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is a way of obliging companies to take responsibility for the entire life cycle of their products. This includes not only the product itself, but also all packaging and (product) components put into circulation that are disposed of by end consumers. The exact areas covered by the EPR vary from country to country. In this article, we take a look at the EPR in the area of packaging and shed light on what exactly the requirements mean, how they are implemented in practice and how the requirements differ from country to country within the EU.

read more
When will Italy introduce the single-use plastic tax?

When will Italy introduce the single-use plastic tax?

The introduction of the single-use plastic tax in Italy was originally planned for July 2020. It has now been postponed for the sixth time and is due to come into force on 1 July 2024. The tax aims to tax single-use packaging and plastic products. In this article, we explain what legal changes retailers can expect for their shipments to Italy as a result of the introduction of the tax.

read more
EPR obligations in Poland: volume threshold and registration obligation

EPR obligations in Poland: volume threshold and registration obligation

Since 13 June 2013, the handling of packaging waste in Poland has been regulated by the Act on Packaging and Packaging Waste Management (Journal of Laws 2019.542). Among other things, it sets out requirements for packaging, the handling of packaging waste and regulations regarding recycling fees. This means that companies in Poland are subject to extended producer responsibility (EPR). The EPR regulations are intended to ensure that companies take responsibility for the disposal of their packaging and thus contribute to the promotion of the circular economy. The EPR entails obligations regarding the handling of a company’s own products and packaging. In the following article, we shed light on what you need to consider as a retailer on the Polish market.

read more

The prevention plan in France: eco-design and co.

The prevention plan in France: eco-design and co.

Verpackungsrichtlinie Österreich
Grüner Punkt packaging labeling in Spain

France has taken a pioneering step towards sustainable eco-design as part of the Circular Economy Act (AGEC). According to this regulation, all companies that place products on the market in at least one of twelve different EPR areas are obliged to submit prevention and eco-design plans.

Legal basis, its areas of application and objectives

The implementation of these plans is based on the AGEC Act of 10 February 2020 and Decree No. 2020-1455 on the reform of extended producer responsibility (EPR). In accordance with Article 72 of the AGEC law and Article L. 541-10-12 of the Environmental Code, manufacturers must submit a prevention plan. The EPR obligations apply to twelve areas, including household packaging, graphic paper, batteries, waste electrical and electronic equipment, textiles and furniture.

Objectives of the prevention plan in France

For manufacturers and retailers of products in these areas, this requires the creation of a prevention plan. This plan aims to reduce non-renewable materials, maximise the use of recycled materials and improve the recyclability of products. The overarching goal is to create environmentally sustainable products and services that conserve resources, minimise waste and reduce environmental impact throughout the entire life cycle. France is therefore a leader in the EU in terms of corresponding legal regulations.

Benefits of the prevention plan

The implementation of eco-design not only brings environmental benefits, but can also offer economic advantages by reducing material and energy costs, lowering licence fees for sustainable packaging and improving the brand image. Eco-design is therefore a decisive approach for companies that want to offer sustainable products and services.

Implementation of the prevention plan

The creation of a plan to reduce the environmental impact of packaging and paper has been mandatory for all suppliers since 2023. The prevention plan can be drawn up collectively or individually and must include the categories “Reduce”, “Recycle” and “Reuse”. A follow-up report is required every five years, which contains a review of the previous plan and sets out the targets and measures for waste prevention and eco-design for the next five years.

The submission and regular updating of these plans to the relevant take-back schemes is mandatory after the respective deadlines. Summaries of the plans are published by each scheme every three years and are publicly available.

LIZENZERO.EU makes packaging compliance in Europe very easy.

Do you ship your products to different countries in the EU? Many different legal requirements and obligations can make the whole thing quite complicated – but don’t worry, we’ll do it for you. How do we do it? With our licensing service, we take over all obligations for you by power of attorney. Sounds good? We’ll be happy to advise you.

For shipping to Germany, you can easily fulfill your packaging obligations yourself via Lizenzero.de.

EPR systems for packaging in comparison: a country overview

EPR systems for packaging in comparison: a country overview

In the EU, retailers and manufacturers who place products on the market are subject to certain environmental responsibilities. Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is a way of obliging companies to take responsibility for the entire life cycle of their products. This includes not only the product itself, but also all packaging and (product) components put into circulation that are disposed of by end consumers. The exact areas covered by the EPR vary from country to country. In this article, we take a look at the EPR in the area of packaging and shed light on what exactly the requirements mean, how they are implemented in practice and how the requirements differ from country to country within the EU.

read more
When will Italy introduce the single-use plastic tax?

When will Italy introduce the single-use plastic tax?

The introduction of the single-use plastic tax in Italy was originally planned for July 2020. It has now been postponed for the sixth time and is due to come into force on 1 July 2024. The tax aims to tax single-use packaging and plastic products. In this article, we explain what legal changes retailers can expect for their shipments to Italy as a result of the introduction of the tax.

read more
EPR obligations in Poland: volume threshold and registration obligation

EPR obligations in Poland: volume threshold and registration obligation

Since 13 June 2013, the handling of packaging waste in Poland has been regulated by the Act on Packaging and Packaging Waste Management (Journal of Laws 2019.542). Among other things, it sets out requirements for packaging, the handling of packaging waste and regulations regarding recycling fees. This means that companies in Poland are subject to extended producer responsibility (EPR). The EPR regulations are intended to ensure that companies take responsibility for the disposal of their packaging and thus contribute to the promotion of the circular economy. The EPR entails obligations regarding the handling of a company’s own products and packaging. In the following article, we shed light on what you need to consider as a retailer on the Polish market.

read more

Shipping to Austria: Shipping guidelines and packaging regulations

Shipping to Austria: Shipping guidelines and packaging regulations

Verpackungsrichtlinie Österreich
Grüner Punkt packaging labeling in Spain

Since 2023, there have been important changes for retailers who ship their products to Austria. The reason for this is the comprehensive reform of packaging legislation in Austria, which parallels the changes already implemented in Germany (more). The focus here is on the amendments to the Austrian Waste Management Act (AWG amendment as part of the circular economy package) and the revision of the Austrian Packaging Ordinance (VerpackVO amendment 2021). In this article, we highlight the main changes that have applied to foreign retailers shipping to Austria since January 2023.

Requirement for shipping to Austria: Appointment of an authorised representative

A significant rule change has applied to international mail order companies that deliver goods to Austria since 2023. This states that they must appoint an authorised representative based in Austria if they import packaging materials into Austria. These retailers are therefore no longer responsible for fulfilling their own legal obligations. The regulation applies to all companies without a registered office or branch in Austria that sell products (including packaging) to private end customers in Austria. The authorised person assumes responsibility for compliance with the obligations of mail order companies and acts as their representative in Austria.

In order to act as an authorised representative, the person or legal entity must fulfil the following criteria:

  • have a valid address in Austria
  • have an official place of business in Austria
  • is appointed by a notarised power of attorney
  • is responsible for compliance with the administrative regulations pursuant to §9 of the Austrian Administrative Penal Code

Stricter controls on electronic marketplaces and in the fulfilment sector

Since 2023, retailers who sell their products via online marketplaces or use fulfilment services must provide appropriate evidence of compliance with the provisions of the German Packaging Ordinance (VerpackVO). If this evidence cannot be provided, marketplace operators are obliged to remove the retailers in question from their platforms. Similarly, fulfilment service providers may no longer provide services to retailers who are unable to provide the required evidence.

Reporting obligations for manufacturers and distributors

Distributors of reusable packaging, sales packaging and certain single-use plastic products are obliged to fulfil their reporting obligations by 15 March each year.

Obligations for suppliers of commercial packaging

Suppliers of commercial packaging, i.e. packaging that is not sent to private end consumers but to business customers such as intermediaries or companies, must participate in a corresponding system. The only exceptions to this regulation are for bulk collection points and own importers.

Regulations for the import of single-use plastic products to Austria

Anyone importing single-use plastic products such as wet wipes, balloons, tobacco products or fishing tackle into Austria must also appoint an authorised representative. In addition, participation in a system is required for these products.

It is also important to note that certain single-use plastic products such as cotton buds, disposable cutlery, disposable tableware, drinking straws, sticks for balloons and food packaging made of expanded polystyrene have already been subject to a comprehensive import ban in Austria since 3 July 2021.

LIZENZERO.EU makes packaging compliance in Europe very easy.

Do you ship your products to different countries in the EU? Many different legal requirements and obligations can make the whole thing quite complicated – but don’t worry, we’ll do it for you. How do we do it? With our licensing service, we take over all obligations for you by power of attorney. Sounds good? We’ll be happy to advise you.

For shipping to Germany, you can easily fulfill your packaging obligations yourself via Lizenzero.de.

EPR systems for packaging in comparison: a country overview

EPR systems for packaging in comparison: a country overview

In the EU, retailers and manufacturers who place products on the market are subject to certain environmental responsibilities. Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is a way of obliging companies to take responsibility for the entire life cycle of their products. This includes not only the product itself, but also all packaging and (product) components put into circulation that are disposed of by end consumers. The exact areas covered by the EPR vary from country to country. In this article, we take a look at the EPR in the area of packaging and shed light on what exactly the requirements mean, how they are implemented in practice and how the requirements differ from country to country within the EU.

read more
When will Italy introduce the single-use plastic tax?

When will Italy introduce the single-use plastic tax?

The introduction of the single-use plastic tax in Italy was originally planned for July 2020. It has now been postponed for the sixth time and is due to come into force on 1 July 2024. The tax aims to tax single-use packaging and plastic products. In this article, we explain what legal changes retailers can expect for their shipments to Italy as a result of the introduction of the tax.

read more
EPR obligations in Poland: volume threshold and registration obligation

EPR obligations in Poland: volume threshold and registration obligation

Since 13 June 2013, the handling of packaging waste in Poland has been regulated by the Act on Packaging and Packaging Waste Management (Journal of Laws 2019.542). Among other things, it sets out requirements for packaging, the handling of packaging waste and regulations regarding recycling fees. This means that companies in Poland are subject to extended producer responsibility (EPR). The EPR regulations are intended to ensure that companies take responsibility for the disposal of their packaging and thus contribute to the promotion of the circular economy. The EPR entails obligations regarding the handling of a company’s own products and packaging. In the following article, we shed light on what you need to consider as a retailer on the Polish market.

read more

Optional packaging labeling in Spain: What you need to know

Verpackungskennzeichnung Spanien

Since January 2023, there have been significant changes in the area of packaging labelling in Spain. The previous obligation to affix the Green Dot (“Der Grüne Punkt”) symbol to packaging no longer applies. Since then, companies have been able to choose whether they want to use this symbol on their packaging. This new regulation brings advantages for exporters to Spain, as they are now exempt from the previous licence fees and administrative costs.

Optional use of the Green Dot ("Der Grüne Punkt") in packaging labeling

The change in the law now offers companies the flexibility to decide for themselves whether they want to display the Green Dot (“Der Grüne Punkt”) symbol on their packaging. Those that choose to retain the symbol can continue to do so. On the other hand, companies that decide not to use the symbol now have the freedom to remove it from their packaging. This innovation simplifies and flexibilises the process for manufacturers and retailers.

Causes for the new regulation

In the past, exporters who shipped their products to Spain had to affix the Green Dot (“Der Grüne Punkt”) symbol to their packaging and register it with a local licensing body. This requirement was lifted as it was recognised that the symbol alone did not provide sufficient information about the recyclability of the packaging. It mainly served as proof that the manufacturer or retailer was making a financial contribution to the recycling process. This obligation is now covered by registration in the central packaging register.

Further changes for Amazon retailers in Spain

For all those who sell their products on Amazon, there are important changes to consider before the end of the year, especially when it comes to selling on amazon.es.

Spain has issued new regulations, including Royal Decree 1055/2022 on packaging and packaging waste and Law 7/2022 on waste and contaminated land in the context of a circular economy.

 

What needs to be done?

  • Show compliance: In order to comply with the extended producer responsibility for packaging, distributors need a Spanish tax number (NIF) and an authorized person in Spain. Amazon supports these companies with the EPR service.
  • Ministry of Miteco: On the website of the Ministry of Miteco, distributors must select the appropriate Producer Responsibility Organization for their products and register in the producer directory.
  • Environmental fees: Depending on the organization selected, environmental fees may apply. Registration must be completed by December 31, 2023, otherwise Amazon will pay on behalf of the company placing the product on the market.

LIZENZERO.EU makes packaging compliance in Europe very easy.

Do you ship your products to different countries in the EU? Many different legal requirements and obligations can make the whole thing quite complicated – but don’t worry, we’ll do it for you. How do we do it? With our licensing service, we take over all obligations for you by power of attorney. Sounds good? We’ll be happy to advise you.

For shipping to Germany, you can easily fulfill your packaging obligations yourself via Lizenzero.de.

EPR systems for packaging in comparison: a country overview

EPR systems for packaging in comparison: a country overview

In the EU, retailers and manufacturers who place products on the market are subject to certain environmental responsibilities. Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is a way of obliging companies to take responsibility for the entire life cycle of their products. This includes not only the product itself, but also all packaging and (product) components put into circulation that are disposed of by end consumers. The exact areas covered by the EPR vary from country to country. In this article, we take a look at the EPR in the area of packaging and shed light on what exactly the requirements mean, how they are implemented in practice and how the requirements differ from country to country within the EU.

read more
When will Italy introduce the single-use plastic tax?

When will Italy introduce the single-use plastic tax?

The introduction of the single-use plastic tax in Italy was originally planned for July 2020. It has now been postponed for the sixth time and is due to come into force on 1 July 2024. The tax aims to tax single-use packaging and plastic products. In this article, we explain what legal changes retailers can expect for their shipments to Italy as a result of the introduction of the tax.

read more
EPR obligations in Poland: volume threshold and registration obligation

EPR obligations in Poland: volume threshold and registration obligation

Since 13 June 2013, the handling of packaging waste in Poland has been regulated by the Act on Packaging and Packaging Waste Management (Journal of Laws 2019.542). Among other things, it sets out requirements for packaging, the handling of packaging waste and regulations regarding recycling fees. This means that companies in Poland are subject to extended producer responsibility (EPR). The EPR regulations are intended to ensure that companies take responsibility for the disposal of their packaging and thus contribute to the promotion of the circular economy. The EPR entails obligations regarding the handling of a company’s own products and packaging. In the following article, we shed light on what you need to consider as a retailer on the Polish market.

read more