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Service & Advice > FAQ > Central Agency

Trust is good, control is better: Questions & answers on the packaging register LUCID

Tasks of the Central Agency Packaging Register

What are the tasks of the Central Office?

The Central Agency is the new "control authority" in packaging licensing with extensive tasks:

Control of all first-time distributors, e.g. compliance with the obligation to participate in the system, submission of a declaration of completeness and plausibility check of the quantity data reports (e.g. comparison with comparable companies).

Control of dual systems, industry solutions (e.g. data reporting and volume flow verification).

Reconciliation/control/plausibility check of the data reports of dual systems with those of the distributors.

Calculation of the market shares of dual systems and industry solutions.

Manufacturers (first-time distributors = trade, industry, importers) → Central Agency: registration, data reporting during the year, declaration of completeness.

Dual Systems → Central Agency: planned quantity reports, actual quantity reports, and quantity flow reports.

Industry solutions → Central Agency: Actual quantity reports, quantity flow reports.

Registration of all experts, auditors, tax advisors and registered accountants who examine declarations of completeness.

Registration and training of all experts who check volume flow certificates.

Why does there have to be a Central Agency?

The principle of extended product responsibility for packaging has been in place since 1991. One of the results of this is that manufacturers must pay for the collection, sorting and recycling of their sales packaging sold to private end consumers. But not all companies implement this. This results in annual losses in the hundreds of millions, which are shared by the participating companies. The neutral Central Agency is to eliminate the distortions of competition caused by these freeloaders through intensive control, standards and transparency.

Does the Central Agency replace the dual systems?

No, the Central Agency is purely a supervisory body. Its purpose is to control those subject to licensing and dual systems and to ensure transparency. The established free market for dual systems will continue to exist.

Who bears the costs for the Central Agency Packaging Register?

All costs for the operation of the Central Agency Packaging Register are refinanced through levies that the systems and industry solutions have to bear. These charges are limited to the "necessary costs". These necessary costs must first be certified by an auditor and then approved by the Federal Environmental Agency. The economical use of the funds is also monitored by the Federal Audit Office.

Who is obliged to register with the Central Agency?

Until 1 July 2022, all companies that place sales, secondary and shipment packaging, which typically accumulates as waste at private end consumers after use on the market for the first time in Germany on a commercial basis are obliged to participate for this packaging in the dual system and thus also to register with the Central Agency before they place the packaged goods on the German market.

There is no lower limit: regardless of whether it is a large producer, importer, (retail/online) trader or small business - packaging that usually accumulates as waste at private households or comparable sources of waste generation must be licensed in Germany from the very first gram. Every so-called first-time distributor of such packaging must therefore register with the ZSVR and submit quantity reports.

It only takes a few clicks to find out whether you have to register with the ZSVR as a first-time distributor of packaging.

Please note: The obligation to register will be extended to all manufacturers who place packaged goods on the market in Germany from 1 July 2021. The legal innovation particularly affects the commercial sector, e.g.: 

  Transport packaging
  Sales and outer packaging in the commercial sector
▶  reusable packaging & 
▶  Deposit-liable one-way packaging 

How does registration with the Central Agency (ZSVR) work?

As a first-time distributor, you must register once online with the LUCID packaging register. All registered companies are published on the website of the LUCID packaging register - this gives authorities, manufacturers, operators of the dual systems and ultimately consumers a transparent overview of the distributors participating in the system at all times.

IMPORTANT: Registration with the Central Agency must be carried out personally and cannot be transferred to a third party.

Registration with the Central Agency takes place in two steps. First, a login for LUCID, the packaging register, must be applied for. For this, you have to fill in:

the name of the company,

a natural person authorised to represent the company (e.g. a managing director),

the specific contact person (if different from the person authorised to represent the company, e.g. the person responsible for the subject),

their e-mail address and

a password

You will then receive an e-mail with an activation link. You have to click on this link within 24 hours, otherwise it will be deleted for data protection reasons. If you confirm the link, you have seven days to register. Here you have to state:

Name and address of the manufacturer,

contact details of the manufacturer (telephone, fax, e-mail address),

a European or national tax number (UST-ID),

a national identification number (if available, trade register number., alternatively the trade licence number.),

brand name under which the packaged products are marketed and

a declaration of participation in the system or participation in a so-called industry solution with the indication of a natural person authorised to represent the company.

Finally, the data can be checked and it must be confirmed that the information is true. If the registration is complete, the contact person receives a confirmation with a registration number from the Central Agency. The registration number must be communicated to the dual system with which you license your packaging.


The ZSVR has summarised for you how registration works:

Can a commissioned third party (broker, auditor, consultant, chamber of foreign trade) take over the registration and the data reports to the Central Agency Packaging Register for the manufacturers (in Germany or abroad) who are obliged to participate in the system?

No, registration and data reporting to the Central Office is generally a highly personal obligation and must be carried out by the manufacturer, trader (online and stationary) or importer himself. Third parties (e.g. brokers, auditors, consultants & chambers of foreign trade) are therefore not entitled to register and report data to the Central Office.

A manufacturer, dealer (online and stationary) and importer as a natural person (e.g. sole trader) can easily provide the information or make declarations themselves. For legal entities, on the other hand, a responsible person or an authorised person associated with the company must act. Depending on the form of the company, the responsible person may be, for example, a board member, managing director, authorised signatory or authorised representative. An authorised person associated with the company can be, for example, a clerk, team leader or specialist. In any case, it must be a company employee of the manufacturer.

The only exception is for manufacturers who do not have a branch in Germany. They have the option of appointing an authorised representative to fulfil the manufacturer's obligations (with the exception of registration). The authorised representative is then to be regarded as the manufacturer for the fulfilment of the obligations according to the Packaging Act and takes over the obligations of the authorised manufacturer. Prerequisites for the authorisation of a third party are: 

The authorisation must be in writing and in the German language.
The authorised representative must be a legal entity established in Germany. 
Each manufacturer may only appoint one authorised representative.  

What data is published on the internet via the register?

The following information is published on the internet by the Central Agency:

Registration number (it is also retained in the case of change notifications),

Registration date (change notifications are assignd the date of the change notification),

Name, address and contact details of the manufacturer (in particular postcode and town, street and house number, country, telephone number and European or national tax number)

Own brand names (with trademark rights) under which the manufacturer places its packaging subject to system participation on the market and

Information on packaging, broken down by packaging type (e.g. packaging subject to system participation and transport packaging).

Which trade marks have to be registered with the Central Agency?

A list of all brand names under which manufacturers, traders (online and stationary) or importers place packaging subject to system participation on the market for the first time is required. If a product has a top brand and additional sub-brands, it is sufficient to list the top brand.

Example: Keksglück sells butter biscuits under the name "Butti" and oat biscuits under the name "Hafi". On the packaging "Keksglück" is always registered as the top brand. Therefore, registration of the trade mark "Keksglück" is sufficient.

Not to be registered:

Type descriptions, item specifications, model descriptions (e.g. headphones A10, headphones A15)

Fill sizes (e.g. 50 g, 100 g)

Product descriptions (e.g. headphones, lubricating oil)

In addition, sub-brands can be registered. If a market exit has been determined for individual/several brand names, you can enter the market exit date under "Brand valid until".

If manufacturers, traders (online and stationary) or importers place products on the market without a brand name, they must register the company name again (Not: No name or no brand etc.). This applies, for example, to mail order traders who register only for the shipment packaging. If the shipment packaging does not bear a brand name, the indication of the mail order trader (company name, if available, or name of the owner) is sufficient.

What applies to online trading?

Since shipment packaging that accumulates as waste at the end consumer is also subject to system participation, online mail order companies must also register with the ZSVR.

Since shipment packaging usually does not bear a brand name, there is an exception here: If the online retailer is the first-time distributor only for the shipment packaging, i.e. sells products of other manufacturers who assume product responsibility themselves and no goods are imported themselves, then the brand names of the manufacturers do not have to be indicated.

On our info page for online retailer you will find further information on your obligations under the Packaging Act.

Who is obliged to register as an importer?

If packaged goods are imported into Germany, the company that is responsible for the goods when they cross the border is obliged to register them. The terms "ex works" and "free domicile" play an important role here:

Delivered Duty Paid (DDP): In this case, the producer/exporter based abroad is considered the manufacturer and is obliged to participate in the system.

Purchase ex works: In this case, the importer (which can also be the trade or a distribution company of the producer based abroad) is considered the manufacturer and is liable for system participation.

All further information for importers can be found here: Participation in the dual system for importers

When do I have to register or de-register new trade marks?

Master data and brand updates must take place immediately. In any case before distribution of the goods.

In which cycles/frequency do I have to report my quantities to the Central Agency?

All reports made to a dual system must also be made to the Central Agency without delay. The reporting frequency to the Central Agency is therefore determined by the reporting frequency to the dual system.

What happens if you do not register?

According to the Packaging Act registration with the Central Agency Foundation is required by law. In addition, the registration numbers must be stated when participating in the system, otherwise the licence quantities cannot be reported completely/correctly by the dual system to the Central Agency.

First-time distributors who do not register with the Central Agency Packaging Register or do not fulfil the requirements of the Packaging Act face fines of up to € 100,000 as well as operating bans.

All the answers to the most frequently asked questions on…

Dual System
Packaging Act
Centrale Agency / LUCID
Declaration of completeness
Use of recyclates
Commercial Waste Ordinance
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