Since shipping packaging, which is sent to the private end user with the goods, as well as product packaging, are among the sales packaging that requires a license (or "system participation"), online retailers are usually directly affected by the German Packaging Act. This also applies to international sellers sending goods to Germany.

In addition to the shipping box or bag, all filling materials and packaging materials that are shipped with the goods must also be taken into account when fulfilling the obligations of the German Packaging Act.

Find out what the Packaging Act means for you in the following practical cases (please note: we assume in the following cases that your company is located outside Germany; if the perspective from the German location is relevant for you, please have a look at our case studies in German):

You produce goods, pack and ship them to German customers by yourself

According to the German Packaging Act, you are responsible for the participation (synonymous with "licensing") of the following packaging that ends up in German households:

  • Product packaging including all components
  • Shipping packaging including all filling materials, tapes etc.

 

You order products from a non-German producer/retailer and send them directly to your German customers

According to the German Packaging Act, you are responsible for the participation (synonymous with "licensing") of the following packaging that ends up in German households:

  • Product packaging including all components
  • Shipping packaging including all filling materials, tapes etc.

 

You use fulfilment or dropshipping service providers

Detailed answers to the cases dropshipping and fulfilment can be found on the following page:
The Packaging Act for Marketplace Retailers

 

You send goods to German companies like cinemas, hotels or hospitals

If your customers belong to the so-called equivalent sources (e.g. sports stadiums, cinemas, hospitals, hotels, etc.), they are also to be considered private end users; according to the German Packaging Act, you are therefore responsible for licensing the following packaging:

  • all packaging (product and/or shipping packaging) that is disposed of by your customer

You send goods to German companies like cinemas, hotels or hospitals

If your customers belong to the so-called equivalent sources (e.g. sports stadiums, cinemas, hospitals, hotels, etc.), they are also to be considered private end users; according to the German Packaging Act, you are therefore responsible for licensing the following packaging:

  • all packaging (product and/or shipping packaging) that you fill yourself

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