What are the packaging regulation obligations for an importer in the EU?
The regulations define the responsible party for showing compliance as usually the packer/ filler or importer of packed or filled packaging. If the packaging has a brand, trademark or other distinctive mark, the obligation to demonstrate compliance would normally be considered to fall upon the brand owner rather than the packer/filler.
The basic requirements are:
- Packaging volume and weight must be the minimum amount to maintain the necessary levels of safety, hygiene and acceptance for the packed product and for the consumer.
- Packaging must be manufactured so as to permit reuse or recovery in accordance with specific requirements.
- Noxious or hazardous substances in packaging must be minimised in emissions, ash or leachate from incineration or landfill.
- Packaging cannot contain any of the heavy metals (cadmium, mercury, lead and hexavalent chromium) over 100 ppm in total weight (with some exemptions)
- Technical documentation supporting the essential requirements (1-3 above) and heavy metal limits must be retained for 4 years from date placed on the market and provided when requested by an enforcement officer within 28 days.
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