What exactly will change with the extension of the one-way beverage deposit to cover fruit juices and nectars from 2022?

From 1 January 2022, juices and nectars in one-way beverage packaging, for example, will also require a deposit payment. This means that the drinks that now require payment of a deposit, which a First Distributor brings onto the market for the first time, may only be sold with a deposit from 1 January 2022 and the packaging must be labelled as requiring a deposit. However, if the First Distributor has already delivered the drinks that are now subject to the mandatory deposit to their customers before 1 January 2022, then these secondary distributors can still sell the drinks to the end consumer without levying a deposit and without a deposit label. This transition period ends on 1 July 2022. From then on, retailers may only sell the drinks with a deposit and labelled accordingly.

Attention: If, for example, a retailer “produces” freshly squeezed juice for its customers directly in its shop, i.e. fills the juice into one-way plastic beverage bottles on-site, the retailer is deemed to be the manufacturer and must collect a deposit for these beverage bottles from 1 January 2022. The transitional regulation does not apply here. However, if the drinks are filled in one-way glass bottles, they are not subject to a deposit.


Are foreign soft drinks and energy drinks exempt from requiring a deposit?

The deposit applies to all beverages sold in Germany, regardless of where they were produced. For beverages that are produced abroad, either the manufacturer or the importer must ensure that the packaging is marked to indicate that a deposit is required and that the one-way deposit applies.


Does VAT also apply to the deposit when buying one-way beverage packaging?

Yes. Like the goods themselves, the deposit is subject to VAT. The VAT rate is based on the goods. For soft drinks, for example, the VAT rate is 19%, for milk drinks with a milk content of 75% and higher it is 7%. However, the reimbursement amount is always 0.25 euros per one-way beverage packaging subject to a deposit.


What should you watch out for when exporting one-way beverage packaging that requires a deposit?

Beverage packaging bearing the DPG Label is intended exclusively for delivery to end consumers in Germany. It should therefore be noted that packaging bearing the DPG logo is not intended or suitable for export. Because if beverage packaging bearing the DPG Logo was exported, the one-way deposit would also have to be charged to the customer located abroad. The German deposit requirement therefore necessitates parallel production of beverage packaging with and without the DPG logo, if the manufacturer wishes to sell his beverages abroad.


Do I have to pay a deposit for gift or advertising packaging?

Yes. Aside from the regulated exceptions for certain packaging materials and beverages, the German Packaging Act does not recognise any other exceptions. Therefore, all one-way beverage packaging that does not fall under these exceptions is subject to a deposit each time it is handed over.


Does one-way beverage packaging that is delivered to the catering industry, e.g. restaurants, bars or hotels, require payment of a deposit?

Yes, because according to the German Packaging Act, the distributor, such as a wholesaler, is obliged to charge a deposit of €0.25 from the customer such as a hotel, and must be charged at all further trading levels up to delivery to the end consumer.