Manufacturers, traders (online and stationary) as well as importers of packaging subject to system participation (cf. question "Who is obliged to submit a declaration of compliance?), who exceed defined de minimis limits are obliged to submit a declaration by 15 May each year on all sales packaging and secondary packaging they put into circulation for the first time in the previous calendar year. The declaration must contain, among other things, information on the type of material and mass of the packaging placed on the market - including packaging that accumulates as waste after use in industry or commerce -, on participation in disposal systems and on the actual recovery and disposal of the packaging. The information shall be verified and confirmed by an expert.
The Central Agency uses the declaration of completeness (VE) to verify the legally compliant implementation of the Packaging Act. For this purpose, the obligated companies prove with the declaration of completeness, audited by a certified public accountant, a tax advisor, a registrated auditor or an independent expert that all quantities placed on the market by this company in Germany and delivered to the end consumer are participated in a dual system or in an sector specific solution in compliance with the law.
The dual systems must also submit information on the licensed packaging quantities related to the respective companies with the Central Agency. The allocation takes place from both sides via the registration number of the first-time distributor at the Central Agency. The Central Agency compares the data of the first-time distributor with the data of the dual system. In addition, the Central Agency has programmed algorithms that check the plausibility of the reports with the market data of comparable companies.
In principle, the legal obligation to submit a declaration of completeness follows the obligation to license sales packaging.
If a company is obliged to license sales packaging and exceeds the quantity thresholds listed below in a calendar year, it is obliged to submit a declaration of completeness:
▶ More than 80,000 kg of glass, or
▶ More than 50,000 kg paer, cardboard, carton or
▶ More than 30,000 kg ferrous metals, aluminium, plastic, bevrage cartons or other composites
Below these so-called "de minimis limits", declarations of completeness are only to be submitted upon request of the Central Agency or the responsible state authority.
The declaration of completeness must be submitted by 15 May of the following year at the latest. Failure to do so constitutes an administrative offence (Section 34 (1) No. 11 of the Packaging Act in conjunction with Section 69 (2) No. 15 of the KrWG).
The content of the declaration refers to all sales packaging and secondary packaging that accumulates as waste at the private final consumer or a comparable source of generation (e.g. restaurants, hotels) and was put into circulation for the reporting year. According to § 11 (2) Packaging Act, the declaration of completeness shall contain the following information:
1. the type of material and mass of all packaging subject to system participation that was placed on the market for the first time in the previous calendar year;
2. the type of material and mass of all sales packaging and secondary packaging filled with goods and placed on the market for the first time in the previous calendar year, which typically does not accumulate as waste at the private end consumer;
3. participation in one or more systems with regard to the packaging subject to mandatory participation placed on the market for the first time in the previous calendar year;
4. the type of material and mass of all packaging recovered in the previous calendar year via one or more sector solutions pursuant to section 8;
5. the material type and mass of all packaging recovered in the previous calendar year pursuant to section 7 subsection (3);
6. on the fulfilment of the recovery requirements with regard to the sales and secondary packaging taken back in the previous calendar year pursuant to section 15 subsection (1), first sentence, number 2;
7. to fulfil the recovery requirements with regard to the packaging taken back in the previous calendar year pursuant to section 7 subsection (3).
The examination and confirmation of the declaration of completeness may only be carried out by a registered expert or a registered auditor, tax advisor or registrated auditor. After successful registration, you can also use your own expert. You can find further authorised experts in the register of auditors, Division 1, authorised auditors, tax advisors, certified accountants or registrated auditors can be found in the register of auditors Division 2 on the website of the Central Agency.
In principle, the legal obligation to submit a declaration of completeness follows the obligation to license sales packaging. Insofar as the licensing obligation lies with the trading house, it is also obliged to submit a declaration of completeness.
Since 1 January 2019, the recepient of the declaration of completeness is the Central Agency and no longer the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK). In addition, declarations of completeness must be filed by 15 May of the following year and not by 1 May as previously.