Eine Frau mit einem Schal und einer Lederjacke betrachtet aufmerksam ein Produkt in ihrer Hand, während sie in einem Geschäft mit Regalen voller Körperpflegeprodukte steht.

I pack my goods... and fulfil my obligations as a retailer according to the Packaging Act

Packaging Act meets retail - what you need to know

All sales, service and grouped packaging that is offered in retail and ultimately ends up in the waste of private consumers must be licensed in Germany. This also includes all packaging of goods that are placed on the market at so-called comparable source of waste generations, like businesses or institutions that generate waste to a similar extent and in a similar manner as private end consumers, e.g. schools, hospitals, canteens, restaurants and many more.

For retailers, intermediaries and wholesalers, this means: Depending on the labelling of private labels there is an obligation for manufacturers to participate in the system. If, in addition, a product itself is provided with further sales or grouped packaging, this becomes subject to system participation. The so-called service packaging, which is filled at the point of sale and handed over to customers, for example paper bags or plastic bags, aluminium foil, to-go coffee cups, food packaging and much more, is also affected by the system participation obligation.

Eine junge Frau steht in einem Supermarkt und wählt sorgfältig Produkte aus einem Regal aus, während sie einen Einkaufskorb am Arm hat. Sie konzentriert sich auf die Etiketten und Preise der Produkte.

Amendment to the Packaging Act: As a trader, you must be aware of this:

► Registration obligation for final distributors of service packaging: Irrespective of the system participation obligation, from 1 July 2022 all final distributors of service packaging will be obliged to register with the central body. This means that even if your supplier of service packaging assumes the system participation obligation for you, you must register as a distributor with the Central Body.

► New information obligations: From 3 July 2021, final distributors of packaging that is not subject to system participation must take appropriate measures to inform end consumers to a reasonable extent about the return options and their purpose.

► Mandatory offer of reusable alternatives: The final distributor or filler of single-use plastic containers with food or single-use beverage cups (e.g. restaurant, café, bistro) must offer consumers a reusable alternative for single-use plastic food packaging and single-use beverage cups. It should be noted that the reusable alternative may not be sold at "worse conditions". Businesses with a sales area < 80 m2 and a maximum of 5 employees (e.g. snack bars, late-night shops, kiosks) are exempt from this regulation.

My private label, my responsibility as a retailer?

In the case of private labels, the question of the obligation to participate in the system depends on the manufacturer's information on the packaging. Only if the packaging is marked with the trader's brand and name and does not contain any reference to the producer is it a "genuine" private label. In this case, the sales packaging and grouped packaging must be participated in the dual system by the retailer itself.

If the producer is named among the manufacturer's details, he must license the packaging himself according to the Packaging Act - even if the brand itself belongs to the trade. A distinction is made between the following three cases:

► Industrial brand: The packaging is labelled exclusively with the name or brand of the manufacturer. The manufacturer is thus the distributor obliged to participate in the system.

► „Inauthentic private label“: The goods are labelled with the brand belonging to the trader, but with the name of the manufacturer. This means that the manufacturer remains the distributor who is obliged to participate in the system.

Private label: The packaging is only marked with the trader's brand and name. In this case, the trader must participate the packaging in the dual system.

Clear regulation for intermediaries - also for imports from abroad

Ein verschwommener Gabelstapler lädt Paletten mit Waren in einen offenen Frachtcontainer, der auf einem LKW-Anhänger steht, in einer Lagerhalle.

With the exception of private labels, the situation is different if the goods have already been purchased packaged from a German producer or retailer: In this case, the manufacturer - i.e. the so-called "first-time distributor" - must have already licensed the packaging. Only when the trader adds another packaging component he has to participate them in the dual system. 

But be careful: according to the Packaging Act, retailers possess ultimate responsibility and must ensure that all packaging components have been properly licensed along their supply chain. So play it safe and make sure that your manufacturers of goods are registered with LUCID or ask the producer directly.

This also applies to packaged goods from abroad: If packaged goods are purchased abroad, the packaging must be participated in the dual system by the company that is legally responsible for the goods at the time they cross the border - i.e. in most cases the trader who actively purchases the goods to Germany (ex works).

To-do list for Retailer

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

These are your next steps:

Grünes Häkchen in einem quadratischen Umriss, symbolisiert eine positive Bestätigung oder Auswahl.

Quick check:

Find out whether your packaging is subject to system participation at www.verpackungsregister.org.


Grünes Häkchen in einem quadratischen Umriss, symbolisiert eine positive Bestätigung oder Auswahl.


If there is an obligation to participate your packaging in a dual system, register online with the Central Agency (“ZSVR”). Please note: Independent of the system participation obligation, all manufacturers of packaged products must register with the central body from 1 July 2022.


Grünes Häkchen in einem quadratischen Umriss, symbolisiert eine positive Bestätigung oder Auswahl.

Fulfill your obligation with BellandVision

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.


Grünes Häkchen in einem quadratischen Umriss, symbolisiert eine positive Bestätigung oder Auswahl.

Data volume report

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


Grünes Häkchen in einem quadratischen Umriss, symbolisiert eine positive Bestätigung oder Auswahl.

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.

Information for Manufacturers
Information for Retailer
Information for small Businesses
Information for Online-Retailers
Information for Importers
Information about Service Packaging