Requirements for packaging

Published by:
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Checked 5 Dec 2023
2 min read
Nederlandse versie

Do you make, buy, or sell packaging? In the Netherlands there are rules you must comply with. As a manufacturer or importer of packaging or packed products, you are responsible for managing the packaging until the waste phase. This is called extended producer responsibility. You must comply with the regulations from the 2014 Packaging Management Decree (Besluit Beheer Verpakkingen).

What is considered packaging?

There are different types of packaging:

  • composite packaging, made of several materials (samengestelde verpakkingen)
  • drink cartons, for instance for beverages, soups, and sauces
  • elements such as touts, labels, and (dosage) caps that are part of the packaging
  • single-use logistics resources (logistieke hulpmiddelen), such as pallets and glass trolleys. You need to register these with the Packaging Waste Fund (Afvalfonds Verpakkingen) only if they are meant for single-use. You can use the Dutch-language PackTool to register the packaging and single-use handling aids
  • takeaway packaging, such as carrier bags, chip trays, and pizza boxes
  • envelopes larger than the standard C5 envelope
  • multiple use packaging, such as returnable glass pots
  • company packaging (bedrijfsverpakkingen). This is packaging used by companies and is meant to be left behind in the company waste
  • special packaging, so-called exotics, such as syringes, pens, lighters, and ink cartridges

Is my product packaging?

You can check if your product is considered packaging in the Packaging Waste Fund’s packaging catalogue. And if you must pay a packaging waste management fee.

If you bring packaging onto the Dutch market you need to be able to show:

  • the weight of the packaging
  • the materials from which it is made

Takeaway packaging

Takeaway packaging (i.e. last-minute packaging) is provided by shopkeepers to consumers and includes carrier bags, paper bags, chip trays, gift wraps, and packing paper. Shopkeepers who provide takeaway packaging bearing their name or logo are subject to the same obligations as apply to producers and importers.

Packaging of food products

The Packaging and Materials (Commodities Act) Decree (Warenwetbesluit verpakking en gebruiksartikelen) establishes rules for safe packaging and materials that come into contact with food. You may only use packaging materials that are mentioned in the appendix to this decree (Bijlage bij Warenwetregeling verpakkingen en gebruiksartikelen, in Dutch). Labels are required on pre-packaged foods. The packaging must show proper quantity information, which may not be misleading. This could be the net quantity, with or without the e-mark.

Recycling and collecting

Manufacturers and importers are responsible for the waste from packaging and packed products that they bring onto the market. These responsibilities also apply to showroom packaging which bears your name and logo. The responsibilities are:

  • You are required to pay for and organise the collection and recycling of packaging.
  • The percentage of materials used for packaging that you must (have) recycle(d), must increase each calendar year.
  • You are required to take preventive measures to:
    • minimise the amount of packaging material
    • facilitate the collecting and recycling of the packaging
    • minimise the amount of hazardous and dangerous substances in the packaging
    • maximise the amount of recycled material used in new packaging
    • give the packed product the longest possible shelf life
    • minimise the amount of litter produced.

Packaging waste management contribution and reporting duty

Do you add 50,000 kilos or more of packaging material to the market every year? Then you must:

  • pay the packaging waste management contribution to the Packaging Waste Fund (Afvalfonds Verpakkingen). You must report the quantity of packaging annually.
  • produce an annual report setting out the results for the previous year. You report this by 31 July at the Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate (ILT). To do so you complete the 'Report Form Packaging' ('Formulier Verslaglegging Verpakkingen', in Dutch) and send it to the address mentioned in the form.

This webpage is part of an EU quality network