The Packaging Act knows boundaries - and we know the rules for the import of packaged goods

These regulations apply to importers in Germany

Packaging of goods that are imported from abroad to Germany and ultimately offered to private end consumers here must also be participated in the dual system. In this case, the company that is legally responsible for the packaged goods when they cross the border is obliged to comply with the requirements of the Packaging Act - i.e. the importer who actively imports the goods into Germany (in the case of ex-works sales), unless otherwise expressly agreed on.

If the importer adds additional packaging in Germany, this must also be participated in the dual system by the importing company. This includes sales and grouped packaging as well as shipment packaging, if the goods are sold to private consumers via an (online) retail business.

The situation is different for the export of packaged goods: Since the packaging is not generated as waste at German private households but abroad, the Packaging Act does not apply - packaging of export goods is therefore not subject to system participation.

Amendment to the Packaging Act: As an importer of packaged goods, you must be aware of this:

Registration: From 1 July 2022, not only manufacturers of packaging subject to system participation are obliged to register with the Central Body, but all manufacturers who place packaging on the market in Germany on a commercial basis for the first time.

 E-Commerce: From 1 July 2022, electronic marketplaces may no longer enable the offering for sale of packaging subject to system participation if its manufacturers have not participated in a dual system and are not registered in the packaging register of the central body.

► Appointment of authorised representatives: From 3 July 2021, manufacturers who do not have a branch in Germany will have the option of appointing an authorised representative to fulfil the manufacturer's obligations. This does not apply to the obligation to register with the central body.

Private labels - exceptions prove the rule

So-called private labels or trademarks include products whose trademarks are the property of a trading company and which are sold exclusively by that company. The retailer is not automatically the obligated manufacturer of the goods - the private label can of course also be produced abroad. 

If private labels are imported, the responsibility for the system participation obligation depends on the ownership of the packaged goods at the border crossing: In the case of "delivery free domicile", the producer located abroad is the manufacturer obliged to participate in the system according to the Packaging Act; in the case of "purchase ex works", the importer is responsible for the goods at the border crossing and must participate the packaging in a dual system.

Fulfilment and dropshipping vs. packaging law - who is responsible?

If an importer outsources the shipment of goods to an external service provider, the situation is similar: In so-called dropshipping, the goods are purchased directly from the producer and shipped directly from the producer to the end customer.  In this case, the importer has no physical contact with the goods and is therefore also released from the system participation obligation.

In principle, the manufacturing company that imports the goods into Germany must license all packaging.

The person placing the goods on the market (dropshipper/online retailer) is only responsible for licensing the dropshipping packaging if he is the only sender identifiable by name on the packaging. If the name of the dropshipping service provider is also or exclusively visible on the packaging, the dropshipping service provider is obliged to license the shipping packaging. It does not matter whether the dropshipping service provider is located in Germany or abroad. On the other hand, the person who is responsible for the goods when they cross the border is obliged to participate in the system for the sales packaging.

Safe is safe! It is best to have your dropshipping service provider confirm that it participates in a dual system for all sales, repackaging and shipping packaging!

The situation is different for fulfilment service providers - in contrast to dropshipping, the fulfilment service provider is not the producer of the goods, but is hired by a retailer to store and ship goods. Fulfilment service providers are not to be considered as distributors of shipping packages, even if they fill the shipment packaging with goods. In this case, the distributor on whose behalf they fill and dispatch the shipment packaging is to be regarded as the manufacturer and therefore obliged to participate in the system.

To-do list for Importeurs

With BellandVision, you can meet the requirements of the Packaging Act quickly and with ease.

These are your next steps:

Quick check:

Find out whether your packaging is subject to system participation at



If there is an obligation to participate your packaging in a dual system, register online with the Central Agency (“ZSVR”). Important: From 1 July 2022, registration will be mandatory for all manufacturers who place packaged goods on the market in Germany.


Licensing with BellandDual:

With our licence calculator or after a personal telephone conversation, you can quickly and easy participate your packaging in the largest dual system in Germany.


Data volume report:

Report your packaging quantities subject to system participation to the Central Agency and to us as your dual system.


Statement of Completeness („Vollständigkeitserklärung“):

If the de minimis limits are exceeded, you must also submit a declaration of completeness - we will be happy to advise you on this!


Any questions? You can find all answers from A for additional information about the declaration of completeness to Z for Zentrale Stelle ("Central Agency") in our FAQs. Or ready for the licensing of packaging? Then simply license online right away

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