Selling To Austria In 2023 – Are There New Registration And Labeling Obligations?

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New amendments in Austria


The amended Packaging Ordinance came into force in Austria as of Jan 1, 2023. The ordinance used to only regulate the participation in a dual system for the recycling of product packaging, but now it is mostly sellers without a business address in Austria who are affected by the amendments. This blog post explains what the amendment specifically means to you as a seller, and which options you have to continue to sell products to Austria.

The EU Packaging Directive and its implementation in different EU countries

The basis of the entire packaging issue is the EU Packaging Directive. The objective of the EU Packaging Directive is to reduce packaging waste, reduce the total quantity of packaging, and harmonize the various measures in regard to packaging waste taken by the member states.

The EU Packaging Directive was transposed into German law with the Packaging Act, and into Austrian law with the Packaging Ordinance. EU Directives are guidelines that can be implemented differently by each European country, provided that a certain framework is complied with. Accordingly, the EU Packaging Directive is implemented differently in just about every European country, resulting in a wide variety of obligations for sellers.

Please note: Even if you offer your products only on, you are subject to the different packaging regulations because you can still deliver to a large number of countries. The only way to avoid these packaging regulations is to adjust the settings specifically so that your products are only delivered to certain countries. For example, you can offer delivery only to those countries that provide for a de minimis limit for the quantity of packaging, or that do not require participation in a dual system.

Sale of products to Austria until now

The Austrian Packaging Ordinance provides for an obligation to participate in an approved collection and recycling system, such as that of Altstoff Recycling Austria (ARA). Austria does not have a de minimis limit as it is known in other European countries (e.g., the Netherlands or the Czech Republic). This means that sellers have to register with the system from the first gram of packaging they put into circulation.

Until Jan 1, 2023, registering with the dual systems was easily possible even with a business address in Germany. Market places such as Amazon did not require proof of proper participation in a collection and recycling system in Austria, either.

As regards labeling obligations, the recycling label for plastic packaging such as polybags was obligatory. Other symbols for the labeling were not required.

The annual fees for the participation in a dual system vary according to the packaging materials

The amended Austrian Packaging Ordinance since Jan 1, 2023

With the entry into force of the amendments, quite a bit has changed in the Packaging Ordinance. While the registration obligation and the obligation to participate from the first gram of packaging continue, it is no longer possible for the sellers themselves to register with a business address in a foreign country.

The packaging officer in Austria

To fulfill the registration obligation, you now have to appoint an officer. Pursuant to Section 16 of the Austrian Packaging Ordinance, this position may be assumed by individuals or legal entities whose domicile is located in Austria and who have an Austrian address for service.

The duties of the officer primarily include fulfilling the packaging licensing obligations of the online seller. Furthermore, the officer acts as the point of contact for communications with the authorities, and they are responsible for reporting the packaging quantities. From the Austrian point of view, the purpose of the officer is to achieve better administrative control in order to ensure that the seller’s actions comply with the law and that packaging is licensed accordingly.

If you need more information on the topic of packaging licensing in Austria, we sincerely recommend our partner ecosistant. ecosistant helps you to correctly comply with all your obligations according to the “Extended Producer Responsibility” (EPR) for packaging, electrical and electronic equipment & batteries, textile products, and furniture & mattresses in 30 European countries: EU27 + Norway + Switzerland + UK.

Austria is, in fact, not the only country that requires a packaging officer. In Portugal or Greece, too, an officer is required if the company’s registered office is not located in the respective country.

In our second last post, we already discussed the WEEE & Battery Directive. When selling electrical equipment and/or batteries, an officer is required in every EU country. Consequently, an officer had to be appointed in Austria already before Jan 1, 2023, and the seller had to contribute to the disposal if they sold electrical equipment or batteries in Austria. This regulation has not changed since. This officer is now required in addition to the officer pursuant to Section 16 of the Austrian Packaging Ordinance.

Contrary to before, however, market places such as Amazon are now also required to verify the registration number of sellers who sell goods to Austria. The procedure is similar to the LUCID registration number in Germany before. If a seller who wants to deliver to Austria cannot provide this registration number in the future, delivery to Austria has to be ceased.

The labeling requirements for packaging have not changed. The recycling symbol on plastic packaging continues to be mandatory.

Who wrote this article?

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As an author, Christina fills the blog section of our website with exciting and informative articles, so that our readers can always take care of product compliance in their company in the most well-informed way.

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