Packaging Act: This is how your license year looks like
Including practical overview graphic
Since as early as January 2019, companies that place sales packaging on the market have to comply with various requirements at different points in time in accordance with the German Packaging Act. This can quickly lead to confusion: Which obligation must be completed by when? What do companies have to do only once, and what recurrently?
We clarify and show: This is what your Packaging Act license year looks like.
- Summarized: Your license year at a glance
- Before placing packaging on the market (mandatory)
- In the run of the license year: Volume changes (optional)
- By 12/31 of a year: Volume forecast for the following year (mandatory)
- By 5/15 of the following year: End-of-year volume report (mandatory)
- By 05/15 of each year: Declaration of completeness (optional)
Summarized: Your license year at a glance
To get a clear structure about the different duties and tasks, we have summarized the Packaging Act License Year for you as a checklist. Details on the individual tasks and duties can be found below the list.
Tip: Save the various deadlines in your calendar so that no important deadline is missed!
One-time tasks – before a packaging is placed on the market for the first time:
- At the dual system: conclude license agreement: License the packaging that is expected to be used in the corresponding license year with a dual system (mandatory)
- At LUCID (Central Agency Packaging Register): register with the Central Agency Packaging Register via the LUCID reporting register (mandatory)
- Dual system: Enter your LUCID registration number at your dual system (mandatory) – Tip: At Lizenzero simply possible via your customer account
- LUCID: Report the name of your dual system to LUCID (mandatory)
- LUCID: Report the estimated volumes just licensed with your dual system to LUCID (mandatory)
Annually recurring tasks - always to be done both at the dual system and in LUCID:
- Throughout the calendar year = Adjust your packaging volumes – if necessary – to your current sales figures (for some dual systems such as Lizenzero, you will receive a credit by Aug. 31 for a volume reduction) (optional)
- By 12/31 = Submit your volume forecast for the following year as an "initial planned volume report" (mandatory)
- By 5/15 = Submit your end-of-year volume report for the previous year (mandatory)
- By 5/15 = Submit a declaration of completeness (only mandatory for certain volumes or if requested by the central office)
Remark: Lizenzero customers can always submit their end-of-year volume report for the respective previous year as of January 1 of the next year. We recommend to take advantage of this and to be active already in January in order to be able to tick off the year-end reporting quickly and not to forget the deadline (05/15).
Before placing packaging on the market: System participation contract, registration and initial data reporting (mandatory)
Before the first packaging is put into circulation, a company concerned must conclude a licensing (or system participation) contract with one of the dual systems. The license year therefore begins with the packaging licensing. This must already be done in advance before the beginning of the year for the following calendar year – since, according to the Packaging Act, a company may not put packaging into circulation without a valid packaging license.
If a company only starts its business in the current year, it must conclude a licensing agreement during the year when it starts its business activity and thus before it puts packaging into circulation.
For licensing purposes, the packaging volumes per material type are given as an estimated volume for the entire calendar year. During the course of the year, the company has the option of making volume changes (see below, keyword "Volume changes").
After the sales packaging has been licensed, the volumes must be reported to the Central Agency Packaging Register (ZSVR) via the LUCID reporting register:
- Registration: the company registers once in LUCID, specifying the company data (instructions for registration in LUCID).
- The company must provide the registration number received to the dual system so that the Central Agency Packaging Register can verify that the obligation has been fulfilled correctly.
- Data reporting: Furthermore, the company reports the packaging volumes licensed by it in its LUCID account as "Initial planned volume report" and indicates the name of the dual system (in case of business start and licensing in the current calendar year, this step takes place as "Intra-year volume report" at LUCID).
Unless the company cancels its license agreement, it will automatically renew in most cases. In this way, the company not only secures the cost-effective conditions, but is also legally compliant for the following year, taking into account the reporting deadlines.
In the run of the license year: Volume changes (optional)
Since it is often not easy to estimate the packaging volumes to be placed on the market for an entire calendar year in advance in a completely reliable manner, the originally licensed estimated volumes can be adjusted to the current sales figures during the course of the calendar year. The volume adjustment is carried out in the LUCID account via the "Intra-year volume report" function and in the dual system via a volume change. This notification is optional.
Important: As soon as a company makes a volume change in its LUCID account, this must also be done at the dual system – and vice versa. The packaging volumes reported to LUCID must match the licensed volumes at the dual system at all times. In case of discrepancies, sanctions may be imposed by the Central Agency Packaging Register.
In this video, we will show you how to correctly carry out the "Intra-year volume report" in your LUCID account:
At Lizenzero you can make a volume change using the following link:
Note: After a successful volume change, the license fee payable will change. Depending on the license provider, companies receive a credit if the initial estimated volume is reduced. In the event of an increase in volume, companies must pay the missing license fee in arrears. At the beginning of September, the dual systems report the volumes to the ZSVR. On this volume basis, the disposal shares are calculated on a fixed basis. For this reason, some dual systems no longer issue credits for volume reductions after August 31.
By 12/31 of a year: Volume forecast for the following year (mandatory)
At the end of a calendar year, companies are asked to submit a volume forecast for the coming year. Based on these forecast values, the existing license agreement is extended for the coming year and the license fee to be paid is calculated. As with any volume report, the forecast report must be submitted to both LUCID and the dual system.
Here's how to make the "Initial planned volume report" in your LUCID account:
At Lizenzero, you can use the following link to make your volume forecast:
If a company has cancelled its old license agreement, it should look for a new license provider for the following year at the latest now. If this is not done in time, the company may put packaging without a license into circulation in the new year and thus violate the Packaging Act. So before you are threatened with sanctions, you should look for a new supplier in time!
In addition, it is advisable to gather well-founded data for the end-of-year volume report in advance, if this is not already being done. This way, the company is already prepared for the report in the new year and saves a lot of time retroactively.
By 5/15 of the following year: End-of-year volume report (mandatory)
In order to completely close the previous license year, all companies concerned must submit a so-called "end-of-year volume report" by May 15 of each year. This report specifies the packaging volumes actually placed on the market for the previous year (ACTUAL volumes). As with all reports, this report must be submitted to both the LUCID account and the dual system.
At Lizenzero, you can use the following link to submit your end-of-year volume report:
By 05/15 of each year: Declaration of completeness (optional)
Companies that exceed one of the following thresholds per year must submit a declaration of completeness to the dual system and in LUCID by May 15th. The declaration of completeness must be checked in advance by a registered expert, auditor, tax consultant or certified accountant.
Smaller retailers are not affected due to the high upper limits, but can be requested individually to submit a declaration of completeness.
These are the quantity limits for the submission of a declaration of completeness:
|Glass||from 80.000 kg|
|Paper, cardboard, carton||from 50.000 kg|
|Plastics, metal, composites (in total)||from 30.000 kg|