What is extended producer responsibility?
On 29 June this year, a government decree amended the rules of the extended producer responsibility system. Under the amendment, packaging ingredients are subject to the circular codes for each ingredient and the corresponding extended producer responsibility rates.
Important changes have taken place in Hungarian waste management. On 1 July, the 35-year waste concession was launched, which was won by Mol and will belong to MOHU Mol Wastemanagement Ltd., which will organise the collection, transport and recovery of waste at national level.
Together with this, manufacturing companies and, in the case of foreign production, distribution companies will also have to pay an extended producer responsibility fee (EPR) from the 1st of July. They will have to pay the EPR fee to MOHU Mol Ltd., which has been awarded the waste recovery concession.
“The government regulation on the EPR scheme is not a new regulation in its own right, but a piece of legislation to be interpreted and applied in parallel with the environmental product fee (EPF) regulation” – says Miklós Nagy, Secretary General of CSAOSZ. – “The extended producer responsibility system means that manufacturers are responsible and pay for the packaging material they use throughout its life cycle. From 1 July, manufacturers will therefore have to pay a fee to recover the costs of managing the waste of their products. All products have producer responsibility, or more precisely extended producer responsibility, which means that each producer is responsible not only for the product but also for the packaging, and is also responsible for the management of packaging waste. And in the packaging industry, it is the person who does the packaging who bears this responsibility.”
The question arises: will this be the only cost in the future?
“The environmental product fee will also remain, the two will coexist in parallel,” explains Miklós Nagy. “After the bags and paper used for packaging – the producer is also charged the product fee.”
What to do now?
Everyone is obliged to register, i.e. all waste-producing economic operators must register with the national waste management authority. Alternatively, anyone who has an activity covered by the EPR – must also register with the MOL concession body. The new obligation involves new processes and two-way reporting. The change has created a complex problem, with everyone having to analyse their own economic process in order to keep records.
“The online registration – effective from the 1st of July – requires daily monitoring, and data can be submitted quarterly (as in the case of the Product Fee Act). But everyone is obliged to file a tax return,” explains Miklós Nagy. “What happens if someone does not register? The authority first warns and draws the attention of the company to the missed obligation, asks for a declaration of turnover and obliges the company to pay an EPR with a reference fee. Those who fail to comply may even be banned from marketing the product as a penalty.”