Businesses that sell packaged goods to a wide range of European markets will be charged a default higher cost for environmental reporting unless they accurately declare all the materials used in each product’s packaging, says Lorax Compliance.

Under EU EPR* legislation, exporters and manufacturers must pay a fee for the recycling and recovery of products placed in every market they trade across into each country’s environmental reporting scheme. Lorax is urging brands exporting goods to Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain to be as accurate as possible during the compliance process to avoid paying the high default fees introduced by schemes this year.

With report submission deadlines ranging from 15th February and 1st March, some businesses have only a matter of days to collate the necessary data to avoid the higher charges, says Michelle Carvell, COO of Lorax Compliance. “As compliance schemes focus on improving packaging collection sorting and separation capability under EPR, a number have implemented changes for 2019 reporting. This year, businesses will be rewarded for attention to detail, but penalised for inaccuracy,” she explains.

“For manufacturers and exporters that can’t accurately declare the mix of materials used to create each item of packaging they place on the market, higher charges will be very much a reality. It’s a scenario equivalent to paying the default rate on a credit card. If you haven’t done the research needed across your product portfolio to enable you to declare the packaging materials used, unfortunately, you will pay higher fees going forward as a result. We urge businesses that are unsure of their obligations in any of these markets to get in touch to avoid paying the default rate.”

The changes and scheme reporting deadlines are outlined below.

Finland – Rinki packaging scheme

Rinki now requires all plastics reported to be separated into conventional and biodegradable plastics. Wooden packaging reporting requirements are more specific, with separate categories for standardised FIN and EUR/EPAL pallets introduced. The reporting deadline is 28th February.

France – CITEO packaging scheme

All reports for CITEO are due on 1st March. This year, all plastics reporting has been consolidated. Any ecommerce packaging should be declared on the report’s second tab.

Germany – DSD/Landbell/Reclay/Interseroh packaging schemes

The first report to follow the changes introduced by Germany’s new Packaging Act, Verpakkungsgesetz, is due on 15th February. This will require some scoping changes to differentiate business to business packaging from business to consumer. All companies selling goods in Germany must now be registered as part of a dual system to avoid fines of potentially up to €200,000. An additional report to Germany’s central authority must also be completed and submitted.

Ireland – REPAK packaging scheme

The Republic of Ireland has introduced no alterations to its bi-annual report this year. All reports should be submitted by 21st February.

Italy – Conai packaging scheme

The first monthly report is due on 20th February for Italian packaging scheme Conai. The new year has seen Conai introduce a new reporting category for poly animated packaging, which contains liquids such as fruit juices, milk and preserves. The reporting fee per tonne in this new category is €40 per tonne, in comparison with the €20 per tonne charged for paper and cardboard packaging. Sortable and recyclable plastics can be charged as low as 150 Euros per tonne, but unknown or non-recyclable plastics will be charged at 369 Euros per tonne – a significant increase from last year’s highest fee of 288.

Portugal – SPV packaging scheme

Firms should remove all industrial packaging from the report, which applies to household goods only. The reporting deadline is 28th February.

Spain – Ecoembes packaging scheme

The scheme’s annual report is due on 28th February. All e-commerce packaging should be declared using the scheme’s new 303 code, which was introduced last year.

UK  – various packaging schemes

Nothing has changed in the UK this year across its varying packaging schemes, but reports must be submitted on 28th February.