In Europe, packaging is subject to extended producer responsibility (EPR). When “producers” place packaged goods onto the market, they also assume responsibility for ensuring that the packaging damages the environment as little as possible and pay fees. This is where LUCID comes in. LUCID is a packaging register in Germany and it applies to everyone who is the first to fill packaging with goods and commercially place it on the German market.
LUCID in Germany
From January 1, 2019, the German Packaging Act replaced the previous Packaging Ordinance. The law aims to strengthen recycling and introduces new obligations for all those who put commercially packaged products for private end consumers on the market for the first time.
LUCID is a packaging register of the Central Agency Packaging Register (ZSVR, Zentrale Stelle Verpackungsregister) in Germany. The ZSVR carries out governmental functions, where it acts as an entrusted body, as well as activities under private law. Its scope is set out in the German Packaging Act Verpackungsgesetz (VerpackG for short).
ZVSR statutory duties include registering producers, receiving, and reviewing producers’ and systems’ data reports, deciding on classifying packaging as being subject to system participation, reusable packaging, or single-use beverage packaging subject to deposit. Its private law duties enable the foundation to set up the register and the database and provide information to parties under obligation and the public within its scope of responsibilities.
The LUCID registration number is also called the EPR number. Every person registered within the system has to provide details about packaging and pay for its recycling.
Who must register with LUCID Packaging Registry?
Everyone who first commercially places packaging on the German market must register with LUCID. It means that the following has to register with LUCID:
- retail companies that have a contract manufacturer produce packaged goods, with the packaging bearing only the name of the retail company
- retail companies exporting to Germany but not exporting from Germany
- importers (retail companies importing to Germany)
- mail order companies
- companies that have commissioned a fulfillment service provider
- online retailers located outside of Germany that deliver packaged goods directly to private final consumers in Germany, and located within Germany that take returned products, repair them, and send them back to final consumers in their packaging.
Online traders selling to/within Germany on Amazon, eBay, Otto, Alibaba, Rakuten and such have to provide their LUCID registration number.
Packaging subject to system participation
The new German Packaging Act requires that the initial distributors register all types of packaging they place on the market once in LUCID. Registered do not have to report the quantity, just the types of packaging placed on the market for the first time:
- retail (typically filled with goods and offered to final consumers in this form) and grouped packaging accumulating at the industrial end-user (private final consumer)
- service packaging (a type of retail packaging which is not filled with goods until it reaches the final distributor where it is handed over to the final consumers)
- shipment packaging (packaging and filler material) accumulating in trade or wholesale, industrial packaging.
Note! From May 15, 2023, the responsible state authorities can request documentation from manufacturers and distributors for the previous year on the transport and industrial packaging that has been placed on the market, taken back, and sent for recycling. The documentation must contain information on the masses and material fractions.
Search for the registered products in German here.
What is excluded from the LUCID system participation?
Packaging is not subject to system participation if it includes waste that provably does not accumulate as waste in Germany, such as:
- packaging that typically does not accumulate as waste with private final consumers, such as a game box for a board game
- large commercial packaging (packaging that accumulates in industrial contexts – i.e., with non-comparable sources of waste generation)
- transport packaging serving to facilitate the transportation of goods between individual distributors, such as single-use palettes
- reusable packaging (designed and intended to be used multiple times for the same purpose and whose actual return and reuse is facilitated by suitable logistics)
- single-use beverage packaging subject to deposits
- retail packaging for hazardous contents.
3 steps to fulfilling registration and system participation
1. Registration as a producer in the LUCID Packaging Register
Registration for producers with LUCID is possible at lucid.verpackungsregister.org. “Producer” is anyone who is the first to fill packaging with goods. It can be a manufacturer of goods, importer, retail company, mail order company and online retailer. Registering is free of charge.
If you are an international producer without a branch in Germany, you can appoint an authorized representative to fulfill your duties.
2. Entering into a system participation agreement
To enter into the system participation agreement, you have to:
- determine packaging volumes by material type
- enter into an agreement with one or more systems
- provide the registration number from the LUCID Packaging.
Producers with volumes of packaging subject to system participation placed on the German market that met/exceeded one of the three following volume thresholds for the previous year:
- glass: 80,000 kg
- paper, paperboard, cardboard (PPC): 50,000 kg
- ferrous metals, aluminum, plastics, beverage cartons, other composites (lightweight packaging): 30,000 kg)
must submit an audited declaration of completeness about their annual packaging volumes.
3. Reporting packaging volumes
To report packaging volumes, you have to:
- log in to the LUCID Packaging Register
- click on the ‘Data reporting’ tile
- provide the same data report that you provide to a system to the LUCID Packaging Register (including when entering into the agreement).
Some documents must bear a qualified electronic signature (QES).
What happens if you do not register in LUCID?
Without registration at the central office, the producer may be imposed a sales ban for their products in Germany and on online e-commerce platforms. Depending on the severity of the breach of obligations under the Verpackungsgesetz, fines of up to €200,000 may be issued.