The new packaging law in Germany and its consequences for foreign online shops

The big buzz around new GDPR regulations is slowly fading away and already there is a new challenge at the horizon for eCommerce businesses selling physical goods.

With the upcoming new German Packaging Law new obligations will apply for online retailers. Companies that deliver goods packed in carton boxes, foil and even padded envelopes might have to fulfill new obligations. At least if they are selling and delivering to Germany as from January 1st 2019, the new Packaging Act (VerpackG) will apply.

This applies to German companies and also to foreign online stores, delivering packed goods to private end users in Germany. To comply they have to register in a special inventory named LUCID (

Non-compliance can turn into a threat for online shops

Whoever does not register can get difficulties like warning letters up to a maximum penalty of 200,000 Euro and even a full sales-ban can be imposed. So it is recommended to review the details. Check carefully if you need to register and act accordingly. However, the system itself is nothing new and known by most online retailers as Dual System (Green Dot). The only real news is the mandatory registration with the Central Registry (LUCID).

Why? The main objective of the new Packaging Act

The “VerpackG” (The Packaging Act) aims to minimize the impact of packaging waste on the environment.

The law is designed to regulate the behavior of the obligated party so that packaging waste is prioritized and prepared for re-use or recycling.

The law will replace the currently valid packaging ordinance on 1st January 2019. It obliges manufacturers and distributors of packaging to join together in the central office packaging registers, which independently takes care of the organization, implementation and monitoring of the requirements of the law.

More details and also a How-To PDF you can find on the official website which is partially available in English.

I’m an online retailer, what I have to do now?

It is advisable to register now to be sure to avoid difficulties like warning letters or fines. Smaller online retailers might want to consider using a Dual System partner to file their packaging registration in order to minimize costs. Definitely it is recommended to inform yourself first through the official platform, prior over independent sources.


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Maik Bodden

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