Shipping to Austria: Legislative changes bring comprehensive novelties for online retailers from 2023
Similar to what happened in Germany in 2021 with the amendment of the Packaging Act (VerpackG), packaging legislation was also comprehensively tackled in our neighbouring country Austria. For this purpose, both the Austrian Waste Management Act (AWG-Novelle Kreislaufwirtschaftspaket, adopted on 10.12.2021) and the Austrian Packaging Ordinance (VerpackVO Novelle 2021, adopted on 29.12.2021) were revised. Some of the numerous amendments specifically address foreign online retailers who ship their products to Austria:
From 2022 or 2023 | New notification obligation
In future, distributors must always take into account a new reporting obligation for reusable packaging, sales packaging and certain single-use plastic products by 15 March of the following year (and thus for the first time on 15 March 2023).
From January 2023 | Control obligation for operators of electronic marketplaces and fulfilment service providers
Just as it will be mandatory in Germany from July 2022, from 1 January 2023 operators of electronic marketplaces and fulfilment service providers will also have to check their traders in Austria with regard to the fulfilment of their legal obligations. If proof is missing, "the operator of the electronic marketplace shall exclude the respective manufacturer or primary obligated party from using the electronic marketplace."
From January 2023 | Mandatory appointment of an authorised representative for foreign mail order companies
As of 1 January 2023, foreign mail order companies must appoint an authorised representative if they put packaging into circulation in Austria.
Please note: You can already make a note of the fact that the subsidiary of our Austrian Interseroh sister company, profitaria austria, will offer an authorised representative model for both single-use plastic products and packaging for mail order companies from 2023. We will keep you up to date on this in the coming months on all channels, in particular via our newsletter (German): Request newsletter now
From January 2023 | System participation obligation for commercial packaging
From 01.01.2023, distributors of commercial packaging are obliged to participate in the system. The only exceptions are bulk collection points and own imports.
Since July 2021 or from January 2023 | Provisions on single-use plastic products
If a foreign mail order company or manufacturer imports single-use plastic products (wet wipes, balloons, tobacco products and fishing gear) into the Austrian area of application, it is also obliged to appoint an authorised representative from January 2023. In addition, there is an obligation to participate in the system for these products as of the aforementioned deadline.
The plastic disposable products cotton swabs, disposable cutlery and crockery made of plastic, stirring sticks, drinking straws, balloon sticks as well as food packaging, beverage containers and beverage cups made of expanded polystyrene have been completely banned from importation since 3 July 2021.
From 2025 | Regulations for the import of beverage packaging
In Austria, too, the reusable systems for beverage packaging are to be expanded. This means concretely:
- From 03.07.2024, closures and lids on one-way plastic beverage containers must be permanently attached to them.
- From January 2025, a deposit on one-way drinks containers made of plastic or metal will apply. Glass bottles and composite beverage cartons are not affected.
- Final distributors of beverage packaging are obliged to label one-way and reusable beverage packaging in a clearly legible and visible manner.
- From 2025, the prescribed recycled content for PET beverage bottles will be 25 percent.
- From 2030, the mandatory recycled content for all single-use plastic beverage bottles is 30 percent.
From 2030 | Regulations for plastic packaging
From 01.01.2030, primary obligated parties may only place plastic packaging on the market that can either be reused or is recyclable.