What is the Packaging Act

The Packaging Act (VerpackG) is a regulation that governs the production, sale and environmentally friendly disposal of packaging. It establishes responsibility for packaging in accordance with Section 23 of the Closed Substance Cycle Waste Management Act (KrWG). An important consequence of this is the obligation of retailers, online dealers and manufacturers who initially sell their products in packaging to actively participate in this process. This means that they must ensure that the packaging of their products is disposed of or recycled in an environmentally sound manner.

The most important facts about the Packaging Act in six questions

In Germany, anyone who puts packaging into circulation for the first time on a commercial basis is subject to the system participation obligation. First-time distributors must therefore register and license packaging in accordance with the statutory provisions of the Packaging Act (VerpackG). Proper system participation requires not only the registration of brands and manufacturers, but also the licensing of the packaging material used.


Every first distributor of packaging, unless exempted under Section 12 of the German Packaging Act (VerpackG), is required to participate in the system. All packaging must be licensed. This full registration includes, among others, sales, reusable and transport packaging.


Distributors of service packaging are also responsible for licensing this packaging. Here, however, there is the additional option of transferring system participation to the pre-distributor and purchasing packaging that has already been licensed.


Packaging is registered via the LUCID register of the ZSVR, specifying required data of the company. You can conclude the packaging licensing for your sales packaging with a dual system, such as the Dual System Zentek.


The Central Packaging Register Office (ZSVR) checks compliance with the Packaging Act. This maintains a public register (LUCID), in which the company, brands and private labels must be registered. In addition, regular data reports on the packaging subject to participation are submitted.


Brand name and manufacturer must be registered with the ZVSR in the public register (LUCID). The packaging material that accumulates as packaging waste after use by the end consumer must participate in a dual system, i.e. be licensed.


Products from companies and brands that are not properly registered are prohibited from sale in Germany. This means unregistered packaging and its contents may legally be put on the market, which brings legal and economic consequences.

Sustainability and circular economy

The most important objectives of the Packaging Act (VerpackG)

The Packaging Act (VerpackG) creates a legal framework for companies with so-called packaging subject to registration and system participation. It replaced the previously applicable Packaging Ordinance in 2019.
Behind the Packaging Act (VerpackG) are the objectives of achieving responsible use of resources and protecting the environment. These goals are to be achieved by:

  • Reduction of packaging waste
  • Increasing the recyclability of packaging
  • Increasing recycling rates
  • Producer responsibility for the life cycle of packaging
  • Promoting the use of more ecologically beneficial materials for packaging Responsibility
  • for collection, reuse and recycling
Create recycling cycles

Responsibility for recovery

The regulations of the Packaging Act (VerpackG) state that companies which place B2C packaging on the market for the first time in Germany are responsible for its disposal. Since companies cannot personally collect their packaging from end consumers, the legislator allows them to hand over this task to one or more dual systems through licensing.

The dual systems organize the collection, sorting and recycling of packaging via the yellow and blue garbage cans as well as publicly placed bottle banks. In this way, the dual systems ensure that the packaging material can be recycled after use, as far as this is possible.

In this way, companies meet the requirements of the German Packaging Act (VerpackG) and can be sure that their packaging is disposed of in compliance with the law and recycled wherever possible.

In addition, it is primarily a matter of resource-saving recyclable material cycles. In order to create an incentive for companies to attach importance to sustainable packaging material, ecologically advantageous packaging is to cost less when licensed. These are characterized by the fact that their individual components can be easily separated in sorting plants and consist of recyclable material. The German government regularly reviews whether and to what extent the quotas for recycling can be increased.

Recycling rates required by the Packaging Act

Verpackungsmaterial Recyclingquote  
  As of 2019 As of 2022
Glass, aluminum und metal 80 % 90 %
Paper / cardboard / carton 85 % 90 %
Beverage containers 75 % 80 %
Other compound packaging 55 % 70 %
Plastics 58,5 % 63 %


Who must license

VerpackG regulations according to use cas

For all companies placing goods on the market, there is an obligation to register the company and the associated brand names (including private labels) with the Central Packaging Register (ZVSR). For manufacturers and initial distributors of packaged goods, there is an obligation: Filled product packaging that accumulates as packaging waste at private end consumers and similar sources (e.g. hotels, hospitals, offices, etc.) must participate in the dual system, i.e. be licensed.


For drop shipments, the shipper of the goods is responsible for packaging licensing. Dropshippers should check whether the shipper complies with his system participation obligation according to VerpackG and request proof.

Imported goods

According to the law, the person who commercially imports goods into the scope of the Packaging Act is considered the first distributor. If an online retailer imports goods from China, for example, he is obliged to license all packaging material.

Own brands

Under the German Packaging Act, companies that market their own branded products are responsible for the proper licensing and registration of their packaging.

Marketplace Traders

Operators of electronic marketplaces must check whether the traders operating through them have properly licensed the packaging used. If proof cannot be provided, the trader in question will be banned from selling.

Produced in Germany

Packaging produced in Germany must be licensed by the party who first sells it filled with goods (exception: service packaging). For example, a manufacturer of detergent who sells to a retailer must license the product packaging.

Fulfilment partners

The commissioning retailer is responsible for packaging licensing. The fulfillment service provider has a control obligation: it must check whether the retailers acting through it fulfill their system participation obligation.

Data reporting according to the German Packaging Act (VerpackG)

In addition to registering with the central body via the public portal LUCID, companies must also submit data reports to it. This means that you must immediately report to the central office any packaging that you have licensed from a dual system (for example, via zmart). As a dual system, we also report to the central office the packaging quantities you have licensed with us, stating your personal registration number. In this way, it is possible to determine whether there are any discrepancies in the quantities reported. Here, too, the following applies: Incorrect or unstated data reports can be punished with fines of up to 200,000 euros. The reports that you must make to the ZVSR, excluding the involvement of third parties, include:

Planned quantity report

Before the start of a new calendar year, you license all the packaging material subject to system participation that you plan to place on the market in the next calendar year. This does not include packaging material that has already been licensed by your suppliers.

Quantity adjustment

If, during the course of the year, you find that you are circulating more or less packaging material subject to system participation than originally planned, you can make these changes conveniently via our customer portal. This is known as an intra-year quantity adjustment.

Year-end report

At the end of a calendar year, at the latest at the beginning of the following year, you submit the year-end report to the ZVSR and to your participating dual system. Here, you can adjust your quantities once again and, if necessary, re-license so that the ACTUAL quantity finally includes all packaging quantities placed on the market during the year that are subject to system participation.

Declaration of Completeness

If your company reaches the following de minimis limits, you are required by the Packaging Act to additionally submit an audited declaration of completeness:

  • Glass: 80,000 kg
  • Paper, cardboard and carton: 50,000 kg
  • All other materials: 30,000 kg

License Packaging now

from €49 a year

Advantages Small Licensees

  • Personalized customer service
  • Simple customer portal
  • Recycling seal
  • Quantity discount
  • Relicensing without minimum purchase

Advantages Large Licensees

  • All the advantages of small licensing
  • Proportionate reimbursement for shortfalls
  • Invoice per month, quarter or year
  • Planned quantity adjustment until 08/15

*From €5,000 annual turnover

Paper / Cardboard / Carton
Natural material
Ferrous metal
Beverage carton