The year 2023 began with high expectations and urgent demands for concerted climate action, a large part of which involves the complex world of packaging. As a result, many European countries converted European directives on single-use plastics into national laws. However, the fact that each country can decide independently is not good news for British exporters selling products in more than one EU market, and little official information is available, so let's have a look at it:
Andorra has banned products such as plastic straws and polystyrene containers to promote reusable alternatives.
In France, single-use boxes and cutlery are now banned from restaurants and cafés.
In Italy, manufacturers and distributors of single-use plastic tobacco filters are now obliged to implement a producer responsibility system and undertake awareness-raising campaigns on this issue.
Poland imposed a packaging fee on producers and required every single-use plastic product to bear a visible and indelible mark.
In Spain, a new tax has come into force: €0.45 are due on any non-recycled plastic contained in non-reusable packaging, semi-finished plastic products, and products containing plastic intended to allow the closure, marketing, or presentation of non-reusable containers.
Germany has required restaurants and takeaways to inform consumers of reusable options for takeaway meals and drinks that can replace single-use packaging;
While Luxembourg requires restaurants to serve food and drinks consumed on-site in reusable containers and cutlery.
Greece requires producers to participate in or organise a Collective Alternative Management System for packaging waste and has extended the scope of its existing EPR scheme to additional disposable plastic products, such as beverage cups and food containers.
Hungary prohibited the placing on the market of all beverage cups and the offer of disposable plastic fast food containers to consumers free of charge.
In the Netherlands, producers and importers of single-use plastics are obliged to cover, in addition to EPR fees, the costs of raising consumer awareness of littering caused by single-use packaging.
Considerations: UK exporters currently selling under Delivered Duty Paid (DDP) incoterms are expected to be the most affected by these changes as sellers on DDP are the importers of record and will have to pay all import taxes. A recommendation would be change from DDP to Delivered at Place (DAP) incoterms, whereby your customer takes responsibility for customs clearance and payment of all duties and taxes.
It is expected, however, that more new legislation will be introduced in the coming weeks and months, and to stay competitive, UK exporters are advised to consider alternative packaging systems.
Is your business affected by the new EU Plastic Packaging Tax? The Chamber can help companies in several ways:
Information, Advice and Support from our award-winning chamber team and network of members, approved suppliers and partners. Simply email us at email@example.com or call 0161 393 4314
Customs Clearance & Transit Services: We are an HMRC Compliant customs broker helping UK traders with export and import customs entries and transit documentation for companies of all sizes, through any port or airport. To set up an account or for more information, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or complete our short online form.
Training Courses: From how to complete a customs declaration to export/import customs procedures and documentation, to mention but a few, our full range of courses are designed to help your staff to keep up with current and latest regulations. View our list of upcoming courses here.