If the graphics that are provided by the customer do not comply with the labeling regulations, can packaging manufacturers also be subject to penalties?

According to the regulations, “Producers” must indicate the alphanumeric code provided for in Decision 97/129/EC on all packaging (primary, secondary and tertiary).

In light of the aforementioned standard, it is at least certain that the “producers” must identify the alpha-numeric coding provided for by Decision 97/129 / EC, and are defined by Legislative Decree 152/2006, as “suppliers of packaging materials, manufacturers , processors and importers of empty packaging and packaging materials ”.

Packaging producers are the subjects obliged to ensure that information about the composition of the packaging is conveyed along the entire supply chain: they are in fact the subjects who know exactly the composition of the packaging.

It is essential, in order to guarantee the final definition of the composition of a finished packaging, that each producer of articles that can be classified as finished or semi-finished packaging, transfers as complete information as possible about their composition to subsequent subjects in the supply chain.

For example, in the case of a multilayer plastic packaging, therefore made up of several polymers, it is essential that the manufacturer indicates to his customer the details of the packaging composition. This is because, for example, that packaging could be coupled to another material, and in defining the identification code of the finished packaging, that type of detail becomes essential.

However, it must be considered that the most significant part of the packaging is placed on the market, and in particular delivered to the final consumer, through prepackaged products. It is well known that the labelling of these sales units is often decided and defined by the user of the packaging, who chooses the contents and form, and who approves the layout to be printed and/or reproduced on the packaging.

It is therefore inevitable that the affixing of environmental labeling becomes a sharing activity between the supplier and user of the packaging, that operators may deem it necessary to regulate and formalize through agreements between the various parties involved.

It is also noted that, with regard to sanctions, Article 261 paragraph 3 reads verbatim: “ to anyone who places non-qualifying packaging on the internal market “Required for their labeling,” a pecuniary administrative sanction from 5,200 to 40,000 euros is applied “.

The rule therefore frames, among the subjects potentially subject to sanctions (“anyone“), any sector operator who places such packaging on the market. These operators could include the following categories:

– suppliers of packaging materials, manufacturers, converters and importers of empty packaging and packaging materials;

– traders, distributors, fillers, users of packaging and importers of full packaging.

Therefore, the packaging manufacturer is required to identify the contents of the environmental labeling of the packaging, in particular with reference to the alpha-numeric coding of Decision 129/97 which indicates the composition material, and is in any case required to ensure that such information is made available in the manner agreed with the customer (s). .

The physical affixing of the labeling on the packaging, on the basis of what is compulsorily made available by the producer / s, is a shared responsibility, which can be regulated through agreed commercial and contractual agreements, through which the point of the supply chain where one of the actors involved takes on this burden.

Last modified on 19/11/2021