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Auf Wiedersehen Deliveries to Germany

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PoC

Something I've been recently appraised of is the new German Packaging Act (VerpackG) and its requirements as of January 2019. Companies (which includes all online retailers) that fail to comply can face fines of up to €200,000.

 

Due to our size we're unable to meet the requirements and so sadly (and like many other small creative sellers) we are no longer able to ship items from the "Yoggie Shoppe" to Germany.

 

Apologies if this causes an inconvenience.

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HerbirdFluWest

I'm saddend to hear this. I was going to order some EJ stuff. Most of it I can find somewhere else, but those London maps …

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nclarke

What you need  is someone from here going to Europe (or Germany) fairly soon who would be prepared to get the items, bring them over and post them on (as I'm guessing that the Verpack G rules may not apply to individuals). Pending confirmation of the Verpack rules not applying to individuals I'm heading to Switzerland at the end of May for the L'Hydriades con and again in October for The Kraken in Germany.

 

Nigel

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UrsusMaior

Yes, individuals are not affected by the VerpackG, it aims soley at reducing packaging wastes produced by companies and used in shipping, parcels or for display.

 

This new packaging law makes it mandatory for "manufacturers of packaging" to register their packaging products (paper, PET, other plastics, glas, what not) with the so called "Zentrale Stelle", the central registration office (well actually it's a public foundation, but that's just a technicality). The Zentrale Stelle services customers, i. e. companies, in English as well, but it's still work that needs to be done.

 

For non-German retailers there is a catch though: The law recognizes you as a "manufacturer of packaging", because it is through you that the items of packaging enter the chain of German waste recycling. So, while a German retailer will buy law-approved packaging materials manufactured by a third party, a US retailer will bring new packaging material into the system and hence would be treated as the manufacturer of this material (see §3, Abs. 14, Satz 2 VerpackG; for a commented version of the law, in German, cf. https://www.buzer.de/s1.htm?g=Verpackungsgesetz+-+VerpackG&f=1).

 

The new VerpackG actually tries to protect small businesses and there trade with customers in Germany, such as Yoggie Shoppe though. If you "manufacture" less than 50,000 kg of glass, 80,000 kg of paper, cardboard and / or 30,000 kg of plastics or related materials (§11, Abs. 4 VerpackG) per year, than you do not have to satisfactorily show where your material went. But - and this is potentially a killing blow to small enterprises - you still have to get your packaging materials registered and certified. As in (I'm making this up) "is your packaging paper really paper, or e. g. containing to much cadmium" or "is your paper correctly labeled according to attachment No. 5" (the correct label for packing paper, cardboard etc. ist [PAP], not kidding) and last but not least, you need to either take back your packaging material or authorize a third party to do it for you.

 

This downside of the bright side of the downside comes with its own bright side, again, however. Because, hey we're talking German laws here.

 

The easiest way for a small US retailer to do all this would be to have retail space in his or her brick and mortar store of less than 200 m² and inform his or her customers that the shop will take back packaging material for free. For free here means: One does not charge a customer for returned packaging, it would not mean you pay the parcel fees for a box full of paper. All packaging material used up to the limits quoted above would be able to hover under the radar of the Zentrale Stelle. And as long as you're fine with theoretical Germans sending you back boxes full of stuffing paper and maybe mention that to your customers, you should be fine. It's not likely that anyone will pay 5 to 10 Euros to send you back your packaging paper, when he or she can dump it for free at the next recycling waste disposal bin.

 

But yes, it is that bonkers.

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