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In this page: Packaging and labelling regulation in Germany | Commercial and industrial norms in Germany


Packaging and labelling regulation in Germany

Packaging must conform to the European legislation on the prevention of health risks to consumers and the protection of the environment, especially with regards to waste treatment. Packaging in wood or vegetable matter may be subject to a phytosanitary inspection.
The CE mark is mandatory in the EU countries for any electrical apparatus. Council Directive 2007/45/EC harmonizes packaging of wine and spirits throughout the EU.
For further information, consult the summary of the European legislation concerning product labelling and packaging.
On 1st January 2019, the new legislation on packaging entered into force : German Packaging Act 2019 (VerpackG), replacing the Packaging Ordinance. All actors, including online retailers, who bring packaged products (including padding material) onto the German market and which end up as waste with the consumers, are subject to the VerpackG. This German Recycling law covers distributors who put packaging into commercial circulation on the German market for the first time and applies both to national producers and for importers, online dealers, etc. It is not aimed at raising import taxes however and would not impact the total landed costs calculations as such. For more detailed information on the new Packaging Law (VerpackG), you may wish to consult:
Packaging Law Overview - VERPACKG
German Packaging Act - DerGrünePunkt
Packaging Europe.
Languages Permitted on Packaging and Labeling
German. However, English is used to give an international image to a brand. Be careful of confusion! Several studies have shown the difficulties German consumers have in correctly understanding a slogan in English.
Unit of Measurement
Metric system.
Mark of Origin "Made In"
No obligation except for foodstuffs and alcoholic beverages. In practice, the "made in" is a commercial argument and it is present on most products. The Madrid agreement provides for penalties if the information on the country of origin is false.
Labeling Requirements
For more information on Labelling, Packaging and Marking Requirements, please refer to the Hong Kong export promotion's Guide to doing business with the EU.
Although non-mandatory, the 'Green Dot' recycling symbol is found on all products sold in Germany.
Specific Regulations
European legislation provides for specific labeling rules for certain products such as foodstuffs, household equipment, sportswear, textiles, medicines, chemicals, etc.

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Commercial and industrial norms in Germany

National Standards Organisations
Association for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies
Integration in the International Standards Network
At the European level:
- CEN, European Committee for Standardisation
- CENELEC, European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardisation
- European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI)

At the International level:
International Standards Organisation (ISO)
- International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)

- International Telecommunication Union (ITU)

German standards are often used as the basis for the European standardisation system.

Obligation to Use Standards
The German Institute for Standardization is a private not-for-profit organization which administers and co-ordinates the private sector thanks to the establishment of a voluntary system of standards and of compliance evaluation. As a member of the European Union, Germany applies the European standardization system.
Classification of Standards
Assessment of the System of Standardization
The consumer of products for the general public does not focus on standards, although they are perceived as a quality assurance. All household appliances have a standard. What is important is the guarantee period. Standards are, on the other hand, a determining factor for sub-contracted products. Quality standards in the manufacturing process are also a determining factor in sub-contracting.
Online Consultation of Standards
The on-line catalog of European standards
The ISO catalog
The IEC catalog
Certification Organisations
German Institute for Standardisation
ISO International Organisation for Standardisation
Underwriters Laboratories, Inc.
VDE - Association for electrical, electronic and information technologies
Technischer Uberwachungsverein e.V. - TÜV (Technical Inspection Association)

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Latest Update: April 2024