Since 2014 packaging in Austria has been regulated by law. From 01 January 2023, there will be some fundamental Changes in the Austrian Packaging Law. In particular, non-Austrian online retailers will have to be informed: In the future (at the latest from January 1, 2023), they will need an authorized representative for packaging in Austria.
Regulations in Austrian Packaging Law:
The Austrian Packaging Ordinance (VerpackungsVO) of 2014 regulates the basis for fair competition in the waste management of household packaging in Austria. It can be read on the website of the Federal Ministry for Climate Protection, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology.
Among other things, there are specifications for the registration of packaging in the collection and recycling systems. They are divided into household packaging and commercial packaging. This ordinance will now be amended as of January 1, 2023.
A similar adjustment has already been made in Germany in 2019 and 2022 – For more information you can read the following article on our blog:
Austrian Law Changes from 2023:
Changes for operators of electronic marketplaces
Similar to what has been mandatory in Germany since July this year, operators of online marketplaces (such as Amazon, Ebay or Zalando) are now also obliged in Austria to check their sellers with regard to their legal obligations. They must verify whether the traders are properly registered on the corresponding platform. In case of missing evidence, they have to act and exclude these manufacturers from using their marketplace. Otherwise, they may face penalties.
Changes according the obligation to report
For all distributors of reusable packaging, sales packaging, and certain single-use plastic products a new reporting obligation will apply. This obligation will also come into force on March 15 of the following year (i.e. starting in March 2023).
Changes for foreign distributors
Foreign distributors can now no longer register directly with a dual system in Austria. As of January 1, 2023, they must appoint an authorized representative if they ship to Austria and put packaging into circulation accordingly. This authorization must be notarized.
Already since 03 July 2021, there is an import ban in Austria for disposable plastic products such as cotton swabs, disposable cutlery, drinking straws, etc. As of January 2023, foreign distributors or manufacturers will further have to appoint an authorized representative when introducing disposable plastic products such as wet wipes, balloons, etc. into Austria.
Who can be authorized? And why these changes?
According to §16 of the Austrian Packaging Ordinance, natural or legal persons with their registered office in Austria and who have a domestic address for service can serve as authorized representatives.
In particular, he will be responsible for fulfilling the online retailer’s packaging licensing obligations and act as a contact person for official communication. In addition, they must carry out the obligatory packaging quantity reports and is thus considered to be the representative of the foreign retailer. This is intended to ensure better regulatory control and legally compliant action and licensing.
By the way, the appointment of an authorized representative has already been possible since October 1, 2022, and will become legally effective on January 1, 2023.
Moreover, Austria is not the only country with such an obligation. For example, in Portugal or Greece, companies without their own branches in the respective country also require an authorized representative for packaging. In addition, an authorized representative is generally required in every EU country for the shipment of electrical equipment. – You can find all this information clearly arranged in our All of Europe Service.
Preview of 2025 – Whats next?
From January 2025, the reusable system for beverage packaging will also be expanded, which means there will be further changes to Austrian packaging laws in this area.
- Closures and lids must be firmly attached to single-use plastic beverage containers
- A deposit on one-way plastic or metal beverage containers is to be introduced
From 2030, primary obligated parties will then only be allowed to place plastic packaging on the market that is either recyclable or can be reused.
You want to stay up to date with the new packaging regulations in Austria or any other country in Europe? You need help in finding and appointing an appropriate authorized representative?
ecosistant gives you an overview of the information and guidelines you need to apply the mandatory recycling labels in Europe on the product & shipping packaging of your products.
Get the digital compliance guides to all countries and additionally the overview of all European countries with mandatory recycling labels with our All of Europe Service.