Lucid number E-Commerce Germany Guide 2022 (proven solution)
Since 2019, Ecommerce traders must now register with the “Stiftung Zentrale Stelle Verpackungsregister” (ZVS) for a Lucid number to be able to place their packaging on the market legally. Our guide for the German market shows how online traders can comply with new data reporting obligations.
A registration obligation is newly introduced for all distributors of packaging, subject to system participation:
Everyone who puts packaging subject to system participation into circulation for the first time in Germany on a commercial basis is obliged to register with master data and brand name at the newly established “in the Packaging Register LUCID of the Central Packaging Register Agency (ZSVR)” before putting it into circulation.
The “Stiftung Zentrale Stelle Verpackungsregister” has published a list (“producer register“) on the internet, in which all registered distributors (incl. a part of their master data) are listed. Anyone who is not included in this list or is not registered may not put packaging into circulation that is subject to system participation (§9 V VerpackG) or a distribution ban.
This registration obligation is directed at all E-Commerce Sellers and is independent of whether only minimal quantities of packaging are placed on the market. Furthermore, most sellers in Germany also need to apply for a German VAT number.
Which types of packaging are subject to licensing?
All sales packaging and secondary packaging filled with goods that typically accumulate as waste after use at the private end consumer or at so-called equivalent sources such as restaurants, hotels, canteens, administrations, barracks, hospitals, educational institutions, charitable institutions, service areas, etc. must be licensed with a dual system.
In principle, E-Commerce traders who sell in Germany must license all packaging that they place on the market for the first time commercially, provided that the packaging is filled with goods and after use typically accumulates as waste at the private end consumer.
Online traders usually put so-called shipping packaging into circulation for the first time.
According to § 3 para. 1 no. 1b VerpackG, the shipping packaging enables or supports the shipping of goods to the end consumer.
It can be made of any material.
- Cardboard boxes,
- bags and packaging aids such as padding,
- shipping cartons or bubble envelopes,
- Packaging components such as labels, air cushioning, chips, adhesive tape, polystyrene snippets, other filling material etc. are also subject to licensing.
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What packaging is not subject to licensing?
Packaging not subject to licensing (or excluded from the system participation obligation) is, for example:
- Reusable packaging
- One-way beverage packaging, which is subject to the deposit according to § 31 VerpackG, is not subject to licensing according to § 12 No. 2 VerpackG: In this respect, special take-back obligations apply.
- Sales packaging that is placed on the market for the first time within the scope of purely private or original sovereign activities, since the party putting the packaging on the market for the first time is regularly neither a manufacturer nor a distributor within the meaning of the Packaging Act.
- Sales packaging that is handed over to third parties by non-profit institutions because non-profit institutions are regularly neither manufacturers nor distributors within the meaning of the Packaging Ordinance
What applies if you use drop shipping as a trader?
As a general rule, the first person to fill the packaging with goods is always obliged. Exceptions are only made in the case of so-called trade licensing, where a manufacturer is commissioned on behalf of a trader to produce a particular product (keyword: own brands of the trade), as well as in the area of service packaging (cups, pizza boxes, etc.). In the case of so-called dropshipping, the packer or the original manufacturer is, therefore, the obligated party according to the Packaging Act about the shipping cartons and not, for example, the mail-order / online trader.
To ensure that the packaging has already been licensed and that a Lucid-number is not necessary, the mail-order/online trader should obtain written confirmation from the sender.
How does registration work?
“Registration works very simply on the German website www.verpackungsregister.org . The legislator has limited the producer’s obligations to the minimum necessary. It is purely electronic and can be done with a computer/tablet or internet-enabled mobile phone. Following is a brief description of the registration process and application for the LUCID number.
There are two steps to registration:
- apply for access data to LUCID
- enter registration data
You will find the button to register in the LUCID register (from the 3rd quarter of 2018).
There you enter the name of the company to be registered, a natural person authorized to represent it, an e-mail address, and a password. If the company has several legal representatives (e.g., management with several members), it is sufficient to enter one of these legal representatives as the authorized representative.
If the legal representative is not a natural person, one of his or her legal representatives must be indicated. In addition, the specific contact person must be indicated with an e-mail address so that the login can be assigned. In the case of small manufacturers, the legal representative and contact person are often the same person.
After sending this data, you will receive an activation e-mail containing a link. You now have 24 hours to complete the registration via the link. If you do not use this link in the following 24 hours, the data will be deleted for data protection reasons, and you will have to enter it again for registration.
By clicking the transmitted link, access to the input mask is activated.
Now enter your manufacturer data (please have the national identification number of the manufacturer, e.g., the trade register number, including the European tax number (VAT ID No.) ready). If this is not available in a particular case – and please only in this case – enter your national tax number as an alternative.
Now you must enter the brand names under which you market products or packaging. It is helpful to have a complete article list of the products you sell ready for this purpose. If your product does not have a brand name, please enter the company name of the business or, if you are a sole trader not entered in the commercial register, your own name in the “brand name” field so that the products can be assigned to you as the manufacturer.
You must also confirm as part of the registration that you have participated in one or more systems or one or more industry solutions about the packaging you distribute as a manufacturer. Finally, you have the option of checking your entries in a summary.
Finally, please confirm the completeness and correctness of the information and end the process by clicking on the “Complete registration” field.”
Support with the application
Registration for online sellers can be tricky, especially if you are not familiar with the German system. M&M Consultants can support you with the registration process.
Send us a message or book a free call here.
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