WHEN DO I NEED TO REGISTER FOR THE BELGIAN PACKAGING ACT?
You will need to register in the directory for packaging in Belgium if you want to sell to Belgian customers through, for example, bol.com. This is mandatory if your products are packaged using materials like plastic or cardboard. You then have to declare annually the amount of packaging you’ve sent to Belgium. If you use less than 300 kg of packaging material per year, you don’t have to do anything.
WHAT IS THE BELGIAN PACKAGING ACT?
The Belgian Packaging Act applies to companies that market packaging for products used by households. It consists of three sections:
- Obligation to take back: every year, entrepreneurs must achieve a set percentage of recycling. This means you need to ensure your packaging is recycled. This can be arranged through a waste management company, so you don’t have to do it yourself.
- Obligation to inform: as a company, you must inform the Interregional Packaging Commission (IVC) of the type of packaging you’ve used and the percentage recycled.
- Three-year prevention plan: Companies that bring more than 300 tons of packaging into Belgium are obliged to draw up a prevention plan. In this plan, they specify measures taken in order to produce as little packaging as possible. It also applies to companies that pack products in Belgium (or have them packaged) at a rate of 100 tons of packaging or more per year.
Please note that this doesn’t apply to the boxes that Bol.com or Amazon use to package your products at Bol LvB or Amazon FBA.
Shoeboxes and fancy packaging boxes also fall under the packaging law.
Plastic product packaging is the most common.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I DON’T COMPLY WITH THE PACKAGING ACT?
In Belgium, registration is mandatory: failing to do so can result in fines. You may choose to arrange this through a waste management company, or you can arrange yourself for products to be collected from the customer and recycled. As an example, in Germany, Nespresso allows customers to send back their cups by post for recycling. You’d then have to declare to the IVC how much you’ve recycled.
AM I READY TO SELL IN BELGIUM AFTER MY REGISTRATION?
Almost. At least you can ship products to Belgian customers again without risking fines. After registration, you’re also allowed to place the Green Dot (see opposite) on your packaging materials to show they’re being recycled. What you do still have to do is file an annual declaration stating the amount of packaging that was used for your products. We can submit these declarations for you, but we do need your annual figures. This means that, from the moment of registration, you will need to keep track of how much packaging material you’ve sold in Belgium. We can help to make this manageable.
How can I register with the Belgian Packaging Act?
You can register with the national packaging directory and sign up with a Belgian waste management company. We can set this up for you directly. We will then submit the annual declaration to the waste management company for you.
WHY SHOULD I FILE PACKAGING DECLARATIONS THROUGH YOU?
Pretty much all entrepreneurs we speak to, think it’s important to be able to focus on the core of their business. In general, this doesn’t tend to include filing packaging declarations. We’re often told there’s a huge lack of clarity when it comes to what is required for the application, and that figuring it all out by yourself costs much more time and money than it saves. We send you annual reminders for your packaging waste declaration, so all you have to do is send us your figures and we file the declaration for you. It’s a piece of cake: you don’t have to spend much time on this and you don’t have to communicate in Dutch. In addition, we can present a united front to the Belgian waste management authority on behalf of all our affiliated entrepreneurs, so we can more easily bring to light any issues that arise for our customers.
WHAT IS THE COST OF APPLYING FOR A BELGIAN PACKAGING ACT REGISTRATION AND ANNUAL DECLARATIONS?
We charge a rate of £ 129 for the first year and a rate of £ 89 for the following years.
This does not include subscription fees with a waste management company. These are around €100 per year. Additionally, you pay for each kilogram of packaging material.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO REGISTER WITH THE BELGIAN PACKAGING DIRECTORY?
It takes around 1-2 weeks for your account to be registered.
WHAT DOES THE BELGIAN PACKAGING ACT SERVICE INCLUDE?
✅ We will fill out all the forms you need to apply for a:
- Registration in the national register (IVC)
- Registration with a waste management company
- Actively checking that the figures you provide are correct, so you never pay too much
- Annual declaration of the packaging quantity
✅ We also provide support in answering any questions from the Belgian waste authorities. This way, you’re not on your own.
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