Dual System vs. LUCID – What is the difference?

Since 2019, the German Packaging Act (VerpackG) obliges all initial distributors of sales packaging (product, service and shipping packaging) to comply with three obligations. These must take place at two different points: at a dual system of choice and in the LUCID reporting register, provided by the Central Agency Packaging Register (ZSVR).

Since the data reporting obligation takes place at both places and, in general, all the data provided must match, many are rightly asking: what is the difference? Why do affected companies have to take action at both places and how do they work together? We will enlighten you.





What is the LUCID packaging register?

With the introduction of the VerpackG, a control authority was created to verify the mandatory compliance: The authority Central Agency Packaging Register (ZSVR). As a foundation under private law, the ZSVR provides the LUCID packaging register, in which all manufacturers and distributors affected by the Packaging Act are listed.

The LUCID register is a publicly accessible database. This allows competitors and customers to check whether certain companies are registered and, if necessary, to report if the distributors concerned do not comply with the obligations. This transparency is intended to ensure that violations of the law are punished efficiently.

In addition to self-monitoring by the market, the ZSVR itself can also use LUCID to check whether a company is complying with the VerpackG obligations. In the case of violations such as complete non-compliance or incorrect implementation, the ZSVR reports the violation to the relevant state authorities. As a result, the company concerned may face sanctions such as warnings, fines of up to EUR 200,000 or sales bans.


Which To do's have to be done at LUCID?

Companies concerned must register once in the LUCID packaging register (= registration obligation). We have compiled instructions for you in our blog post on registration with LUCID.

In addition, the company must enter the licensed packaging volumes as well as the name of the dual system with which it licenses its packaging in LUCID (for more on this, see "What is a dual system?" and "What to do's have to be completed at the dual system?"). This so-called data reporting obligation applies continuously: Thus, all changes made at LUCID or at the dual system must be transferred to the respective other entity.



What is a dual system?

A dual system is a recognized private-sector company. There are a total of eleven dual systems in Germany:

  • Interseroh+ GmbH (hierzu gehört Lizenzero)
  • Der Grüne Punkt – Duales System Deutschland GmbH
  • EKO-Punkt GmbH & Co. KG
  • Veolia Umweltservice Dual GmbH
  • Reclay Systems GmbH
  • BellandVision GmbH
  • Landbell AG für Rückhol-Systeme
  • NOVENTIZ Dual GmbH
  • Zentek GmbH & Co. KG
  • Recycling Dual GmbH
  • PreZero Stiftung & Co. KG

Together, the dual systems ensure that packaging waste is properly collected, sorted and recycled. The proportion to which each of the dual systems ensures these processes is calculated from the amount of packaging licensed with the individual dual system.

The distributors of packaging are obliged to participate in a dual system of their choice for a fee by means of a licensing agreement. By licensing the packaging they place on the market, the companies fulfill the product responsibility they hold for their packaging.

In addition, the dual systems also have an educational mandate in order to be able to achieve the higher recycling rates pursued with the VerpackG. For example, the joint campaign "Mülltrennung wirkt" ("Waste separation works") educates the population about proper waste separation.


Which To do's have to be done at the dual system?

Companies that place sales packaging on the market, which ultimately ends up as waste in private households, must participate in a dual system as the third and final obligation in addition to the registration and data reporting obligation. Companies fulfill this so-called system participation obligation (or "licensing obligation") by concluding a license agreement via the online store of the respective dual system, specifying their packaging volumes. At Lizenzero, you are supported by our Calculation Assistant and our Calculator.

Calculate volumes now


Why do affected companies have to take action at both points?

Packaging licensing has been a legal requirement since as early as 1991 under the Packaging Ordinance issued at that time. However, due to the lack of a control mechanism in the ordinance, it was not possible to verify compliance with system participation in the dual systems.

In order to avoid free riders and to eliminate the missing control possibility, the legislator also created the authority Central Agency Packaging Register together with the registration register LUCID with the Packaging Act. This is because every company that puts sales packaging into circulation must now register with the LUCID reporting register and report its data and volumes to it. This data is regularly compared with the dual systems in order to track down violations quickly and efficiently.

The Packaging Act also clearly defines that companies may not commission third parties to fulfill LUCID obligations, so as not to undermine the newly created control mechanism. Therefore, as a dual system, we are not allowed, for example, to carry out the registration and data reporting in LUCID for our customers.


How do the bodies work together?

It is mandatory for each company concerned to provide its individual registration number, which it receives from the Central Agency Packaging Register after successful registration (viewable in the LUCID dashboard), to its dual system. This information enables the Central Agency Packaging Register to match the licensed packaging volumes at the dual system with the reported volumes in LUCID. In this way, it is ensured that the companies fully comply with the obligations of the Packaging Act and that there is no more free-riding on a large scale.


Conclusion: LUCID and the dual systems do not belong together

Even though a company must both license its packaging volumes with a dual system and report them in LUCID, the two bodies are fundamentally different and perform different tasks. The dual systems ensure a functioning circular economy and recycle packaging waste, while LUCID, as a publicly viewable register, serves as a control body for compliance with the Packaging Act.

The introduction of the Packaging Act means that cases of non-compliance can be detected more quickly. In order to avoid severe sanctions, every affected company should therefore pay attention to compliance.

Act now in compliance with the law

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License packaging and restore peatlands

Whoo-hoo! A double victory for the circular economy: as Interzero, we have been honoured with both the German Sustainability Award 2024 and the special prize in the "Resources" category.