This content is from: Local Insights

Importers, distributors and manufacturers beware

Daniel Futej

The new act on packaging provided for certain new obligations for importers, distributors and manufacturers of products. These persons are deemed to be the liable persons and their obligations include reduction and elimination of the amount of packaging and packaging waste and their harmful effects on the environment during the phase of production, sale, distribution and use. Packaging means "a product used to pack, protect, handle, supply and present goods on the way from raw materials to products and from the manufacturer to the user or consumer, which complies with the criteria specified in Annex no.1; non-returnable parts of packaging used for the same purposes are deemed to be packaging too."

A person manufacturing products or a distributor of products delivering to the market an amount exceeding 10 tonnes of packaging per year, shall draw up a prevention programme, as defined by the law. Entrepreneurs with their place of business within the territory of the Slovak Republic shall send the prevention programme to the District Environmental Authority within six months from the commencement of the entrepreneur's activities.

Any marking on the packaging must be in compliance with a special regulation and the liable person is responsible for it. Such marking shall be well visible and easily legible and shall be reasonably resistant even after the packaging is opened.

The liable person shall ensure collection of packaging waste, including the waste consisting of reusable packaging put on the market or into circulation by way of recycling, at least up to the amount of the binding limits applicable to appreciation and recycling of the packaging (hereinafter referred to as binding limits) set out by the implementing regulation. This obligation does not apply to the liable person who puts on the market or into circulation less than 200kg of packaging per calendar year. The distributor or any other person, who puts into circulation products packed in the packaging of liable persons who have failed to comply with the obligation to register themselves on the list of liable persons kept by the Ministry of Environment, is liable to fulfill the obligations of such liable persons, if they put on the market or into circulation more than 200kg of packaging per calendar year. Consequently, every distributor must make sure that it is registered on the list of liable persons kept by the Ministry of Environment. Those already registered in the past must make sure and check that all provided information is correct and in compliance with the new act.

Pursuant to the new act a liable person shall (i) keep and maintain the records concerning the packaging put into circulation and the compliance with the binding limits applicable to the appreciation and recycling of packaging waste and (ii) notify the Ministry of Environment of the data contained in the records kept under (a), and (iii) keep documents under (a) for five years minimum.

The new act has increased the upper limit for a possible sanction up to the level of €20,000 ($24,802) and in some cases even up to €33,2000.

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