How Online Sellers and Merchants on Marketplaces Can Manage EPR Compliance Across Europe

Enregistrement de l’écran 2024-02-19 à 16.15.40



As the landscape of e-commerce continues to expand, online sellers and merchants face increasing regulatory pressures, particularly around environmental responsibility. One critical aspect of this is Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). This article aims to guide online sellers and marketplace merchants on understanding, managing, and achieving EPR compliance across Europe.

What is EPR?

Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is an environmental policy approach that makes producers responsible for the entire lifecycle of the products they introduce to the market, from design to end-of-life disposal. The goal of EPR is to incentivize producers to design more sustainable products, reduce waste, and ensure that waste is managed in an environmentally sound manner.

EPR programs and EPR schemes require producers to take financial and/or physical responsibility for the collection, treatment, and recycling of their products once they become waste. This shifts the burden of waste management from local governments and taxpayers to the producers themselves, encouraging them to invest in sustainable product design and waste management solutions.

EPR principle is used in many countries to manage the Waste of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), Waste of batteries and waste of packaging.

Recently, textiles is also developed under EPR rules in some countries (Italy, France…) as well many other EPR programs in France: sports and leisure equipment, so it yourself equipment, furniture’s, etc..

Producers must then finance take back and recycling activities; To do so it exists mainly 2 business models:

  • A pay in advance model where producer pays fees per kg or per unit based on his sales volume
  • A pay as you go model, where producer is invoiced based on a pro rata calculation between its market share and the real quantities of producer’s waste corresponding categories collected by the EPR Producer Responsibility Organization (PRO).

The Main Obligations for Online Sellers in EPR

Online sellers and marketplace merchants have several key obligations under EPR regulations, which can vary by country. Here are a few examples:

Registration and Reporting

Online sellers must register with the appropriate EPR authorities in each country per waste EPR program (WEEE, battery, packaging, textile etc..) where they sell products. This typically involves providing detailed information about the company, the products sold, the quantities placed on the market, and the materials used.

Usually, a producer need to comply with several EPR programs for one sales reference or model per country.


If a producer sells a TV with a remote control with batteries included, the producer shall be compliance for WEEE, for battery and for packaging in each country.


If an online seller sells hair dryers (no battery inside), then it must set compliance for WEEE and packaging in each country.

In Germany, under the VerpackG (Packaging Act), online sellers must register with the Central Packaging Register (Zentrale Stelle Verpackungsregister) and report the packaging materials they place on the market. Non-compliance can result in fines of up to €200,000 and sales bans.



Producers are often required to pay eco-contributions or fees based on the quantity and type of materials used in their products. These fees fund the collection, recycling, and disposal of waste.

Fees are usually paid to local Producer Responsibility Organization that handle producers responsibility. The fees are being used to pay for collection and recycling of equivalent end of life products, batteries and/or packaging.


In France, under the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for packaging, sellers must contribute to PRO CITEO, which manage packaging waste. The costs can vary widely but are typically calculated based on the weight and type of packaging materials.

In France the WEEE fees are called “éco particpations” and are charged by the local compliance organization (PROs) and shall be re charged exactly the same amount to distributors and/or consumers. The “Eco-contribution” is the thee fee that cover take back and recycling + the numerous services and activities deployed by the PRO to collect as much as possible waste.

Take-Back and Recycling Programs

Producers and online sellers must participate in PRO take-back programs to collect and recycle used products. This can involve setting up collection points, providing return labels, or partnering with recycling organizations who coordinate collection and recycling grids.


In the UK, under the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations, producers of electronic goods must offer a take-back service for old products and ensure they are properly recycled. Therefore, a specific on demand take back service shall be available towards consumers if they request it during the purchase of a a new device.


Solutions to Start Compliance

Achieving EPR compliance can be complex, but there are several solutions to help online sellers get started:

Understand Your Obligations

The first step is to thoroughly understand the EPR obligations in each country where you sell products. This may involve consulting legal experts or compliance consultants who specialize in EPR regulations.

Get registered and Partner with Producer Responsibility Organization, PRO

Identify and register with the relevant EPR schemes and authorities in each country.

This implies to identify such compliance organization and to contract with them as well as with Authorized Representatives for (WEEE) for non resident companies.

Consider partnering with compliance organizations or third-party providers who can manage the administrative and logistical aspects of EPR compliance on your behalf. These organizations can handle registration, reporting, fee payments, and the implementation of take-back programs.

However, a producer that must set compliance in several countries might have an advantage to select an EPR expert portal one stop that coordinates and centralizes communication, registration and contracting with multiple Producer responsibility organization (PRO), Authorized Representatives and compliance organization. Feel free to contact WEEElogic.

Implement Internal Systems

Develop internal systems to track the quantities and types of products you sell, the materials used, and the associated EPR fees. This data will be crucial for accurate reporting and fee calculations.

Educate Your Team

Ensure that your team is aware of EPR requirements and understands the importance of compliance. Regular training and updates can help keep everyone aligned and prevent non-compliance issues. You can contact WEEElogic for such support.

The Basic Timeline to Achieve Compliance

Achieving EPR compliance involves several steps. Here’s a general overview of the process:

Step 1: Research and Understand Obligations

  • Research the specific EPR obligations in each country where you sell products.
  • Consult with legal experts or compliance consultants if necessary.

Step 2: Registration and Documentation (few weeks to 3 months)

  • Register and contract with the relevant EPR authorities , PRO and AR.
  • Gather and submit the required documentation and product information.
  • Wait for registration confirmation: in some countries like Germany, it can take 3 months or more.

Step 3: Implementation of Compliance Systems

  • Develop and implement internal systems for tracking product quantities, materials, and fees.

Step 4: Ongoing Compliance and Reporting (Ongoing)

  • Regularly report to EPR authorities and pay the required fees to PROs, ARs, etc..
  • Stay updated on any changes to EPR regulations and adjust your processes accordingly.
  • Continuously educate your team and monitor compliance efforts.

By understanding EPR and taking proactive steps to achieve compliance, online sellers and marketplace merchants can not only avoid legal penalties but also contribute to a more sustainable future, fair and reliable level playing field. Compliance with EPR regulations demonstrates a commitment to environmental responsibility, enhancing your brand's reputation and aligning with consumer expectations for sustainable business practices.


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