Registration of Producers and Packaging/Waste in Spain – What You Should Know?

  • Last update: 23.02.2024
  • Published: 29.12.2023
  • Read in: 6 min

On December 20, 1994, the European Parliament and the European Council adopted Directive 94/62/EC, which regulated the provisions on waste and packaging waste. However, it was significantly amended in 2018 by Directive 2018/852. In accordance with the regulations contained therein, authorities in European Union member states introduced national laws on packaging and waste recycling policies, examples being the BDO register in Poland and the German LUCID packaging register, which you can read more about in another article on our blog.

However, it is important to note that among the EU member states, in terms of packaging/waste registration, Spain has significantly distinguished itself. But why? You will find out in the article below. We invite you to read!

Registration of Producers and Packaging/Waste in Spain - What You Should Know?

Spain Packaging Registration - Legal Act

Firstly, let’s note that the aforementioned European Union Directive on packaging states that it is the seller and packaging producer who is responsible for recycling waste resulting from the introduction of packaging to the market.

In turn, the registration of packaging/waste in Spain is regulated by the Royal Decree 1055/2022 on Packaging and Packaging Waste, which received its last update in September 2023. Moreover, it regulates the issue of packaging and packaging waste not only in Spain itself, but also in Majorca, Minorca, Gran Canaria, Tenerife, in Ceuta, Melilla, or Navarre.

Furthermore, the waste regulations in Spain apply to entrepreneurs from the first product introduced to the market. Therefore, it is worth getting acquainted with them before expanding to the largest country of the Iberian Peninsula. Now, let’s move on to the specific legal requirements concerning waste recycling and packaging/waste registration in Spain.

Central Packaging Register Spain

On December 29, 2022, the Spanish Registro de Productores de Producto (Registry of Product Producers) was established. It operates in accordance with the guidelines of Decree 1055/2022 and is managed by the Spanish Ministry for Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge (MITRED – Ministerio para la Transición Ecológica y el Reto Demográfico).

This register was created as a result of the obligation to register packaging/waste in Spain, and every entrepreneur introducing packaging to the market must register in it. Additionally, they must report the products introduced to the market, starting from 2021.

Packaging Registration Process, and Registration in the Producers' Register in Spain

The registration process in the Spanish Producers’ Register takes place online through a site administered by MITRED. During this process, the entrepreneur must provide such data as:

  • Types of packaging introduced to the market (domestic, commercial, or industrial);
  • Information whether they are single-use or reusable;
  • Extended producer responsibility systems in which the registrant participates or is assigned.

During the registration process, the packaging producer must provide a certificate of affiliation to the indicated individual or collective extended producer responsibility system. Moreover, foreign entrepreneurs must have, as described in another article, an N.I.E. number, and must appoint their representative, who will represent them before the Spanish administration. In turn, the result of registration in the producers’ register is the assignment of a registration number in the format ENV/YEAR OF REGISTRATION/XXXXXXXXX (where X is a digit), which entrepreneurs must then place on invoices and other documents related to transactions involving packaged products.

Let’s add that when a packaging producer ceases its activities, it is obliged to inform the Registro de Productores de Producto, providing a document confirming the cessation of activity. If the packaging producer cannot do this personally, they can inform the Administration through an intermediary, and the entire deregistration process also takes place online.

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Extended Producer Responsibility

Producers, wanting to be entered in the Registro de Productores de Producto, as we have noted, must prove their affiliation to the extended producer responsibility system (EPR – Extender Producer’s Responsibility), for example, by cooperating with an EPR organization (PRO – Producer Responsibility Organization).

EPR refers to the measures and actions that a producer introducing products in packaging must undertake on behalf of waste recycling. As a result, packaging producers are able to include in the product price the costs associated with recycling packaging waste.

Let’s add that the extended responsibility system can be discussed not only in the context of packaging waste, but also electrical and electronic equipment, batteries and accumulators, or vehicles.

Spain Packaging Registration - Who is Obligated to Register Packaging?

The obligation to register packaging in Spain applies to:

  • Every entrepreneur introducing packaging, in which goods sent to the final customer in Spain are packaged under their own or distribution brand;
  • An entrepreneur who conducts foreign sales or operates in the e-commerce sector;
  • An entrepreneur who carries out the import of goods (and consequently the import of packaging), which then reach the final customer in Spain;
  • A packaging producer or packer of goods, which then reach the final customer in Spain.

In turn, the process of registering packaging/waste in Spain means establishing cooperation with one of the recognized groups administering extended responsibility systems, which are:

  • ECOEMBES – an organization specializing in the recovery and recycling of packaging waste;
  • ECOLEC – managing electrical and electronic waste;
  • Ecovidrio – specializing in glass waste recycling;
  • SIGRE – managing the collection and recycling of pharmaceutical waste and packaging;
  • ERP España – dealing with electronic waste recycling.

ECOEMBES Packaging Registration in Spain

As we pointed out earlier, before making an entry in the producers’ register in Spain, one must first establish cooperation with a Producer Responsibility Organization, which will allow registering packaging introduced to the market. This is done through ECOEMBES – an organization related to the recycling of packaging waste in Spain.

After cooperating with ECOEMBES, the packaging producer must pay periodic fees for waste registration and management, which depend on the period, their quantity, and the operator’s tariffs.

Moreover, another obligation of the producer is the annual reporting of the amount of packaging introduced to the market.

Additionally, ECOEMBES is also responsible for licensing packaging, which producers may need after exceeding certain thresholds of the amount of packaging introduced to the market. For example, cardboard packaging in Spain has an annual limit of 14 tons. If an entrepreneur exceeds it, they must obtain a license.

From 2025, two types of packaging – industrial and commercial – will also join the licensing system. As a result, packaging producers will be obliged to create a return, deposit, and refund system for reusable packaging. Currently, this system includes so-called domestic packaging, in which usually everyday products are provided to individual consumers. Examples include:

  • Cardboard packaging,
  • Film packaging,
  • Packaging containing plastics, e.g., single-use plastic packaging,
  • Trays.

Plastic Packaging Tax in Spain

Describing packaging regulations in Spain, it is also necessary to mention the tax on plastic packaging, which was introduced on January 1, 2023. It covers all plastic packaging that is not recyclable and applies to all packaging producers, distributors, or importers and is payable when the weight of non-reusable packaging introduced exceeds 5 kg.

Packaging Registration in Spain and the E-commerce Industry

Operating in the e-commerce industry, the above-described waste regulations are very important when entrepreneurs want to enter or are already present in the Spanish market, as the obligation to register appears at the moment of delivering the first shipment to a Spanish customer. Therefore, to avoid problems, it is worth obtaining the N.I.E. number in advance, which can be a time-consuming process that is better planned ahead.

Moreover, to register in the Producers’ Register, entrepreneurs from outside Spain must appoint their representative, who will represent them before the national administration. In turn, failure to fulfill these obligations may result in penalties.

Producers' Register and Packaging/Waste Registration in Spain - Summary

In conclusion, Spain has a developed and unique system for managing packaging waste in the country, the key elements of which are the process of packaging registration and the process of producers’ packaging registration. In accordance with European Union directives, entrepreneurs must fulfill the obligations specified in the procedures and meet legal requirements, examples being cooperation with an organization administering the extended producer responsibility, such as ECOEMBES in Spain, or entry in the producers’ register – Registro de Productores de Producto.

However, it should not be forgotten that another key aspect of operating in the Spanish e-commerce market is VAT. If this issue is neglected, entrepreneurs may be fined or sanctioned, so it is worth getting to know the rules for VAT registration in Spain, which we described in our article – Spain VAT registration. If, however, you need help in this process or other issues related to VAT or VAT OSS, such as declarations or settlements or in e-commerce accounting, schedule a consultation, and our specialists will be happy to provide support!

Antoni Merkun Copywriter and marketer, who has been cooperating with Taxology since March 2023. Interested in SEO and content marketing.