Extended producer responsibility in France: What does this mean for sales on marketplaces?


From 1st January 2022, marketplaces will be expected to collect a unique identification number (UID) for every product sold on their platform by merchants who are affected by the “extended producer responsibility” (EPR). This measure has been implemented in a bid to help reduce waste. What does that mean for your business?

The French Anti-Waste Law for a Circular Economy, commonly called (AGEC law), implemented as of the 10th February 2020, aims to promote the development of a circular economy. The decision was made to strengthen the principle of extended producer responsibility (EPR), placing the burden of managing a product’s end-of-life on the producer (only in key sectors of activity), instead of the consumer.

Parliamentarians voted for a reform extending the list of sectors subject to the EPR, which will include 25 product families come 2025 as compared to 14 before the law was passed. Another consequence of this law is the fact that traders subject to “extended responsibility” are now forced to register with ADEME (its SYDEREP system) to obtain a unique identification number (UID), which will serve as proof of compliance with their obligations. Retailers must then provide this number to the marketplaces on which they sell their products. This measure was introduced by Article 62 of the AGEC law.

From 1st January 2022, marketplaces will be collecting the UIDs of products subject to this regulation in France. For companies, not having a UID number means risking an administrative fine of up to €30,000…

Who does this concern?

If you sell products covered by the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) scheme, you are obliged to finance the management of waste generated by your activity, and to provide your unique identification number to buyers. When used in the legal sense, the term “producer” can be very broad, referring to manufacturers, assemblers, packers, brand owners, franchisees, distributors, retailers, importers, resellers, deliverers, etc.

Therefore, any private or legal person who sells or facilitates the sale (through a marketplace) of products covered by EPR is affected. This law also applies to companies selling products like batteries, household packaging, tyres, electronic equipment, cars, medications, household linen, shoes, furniture, tobacco and chemical products, sports or pleasure boats, gas bottles and so on.

These are the existing sectors already covered by EPR. However, as mentioned above, the number of affected areas will be expanded in the coming years. From 2022 onwards, those selling building materials, toys, gardening and DIY equipment, mineral oils, and sports equipment will also be subject to these obligations. In 2024, those selling non-biodegradable chewing gum and single-use sanitary textiles will join them, followed by those selling fishing gear made of plastic and packaging for professional products in 2025.

What are the impacts?

This extended producer responsibility (EPR) reform will thus have various consequences on many big players in the e-commerce industry.

#For retailers

Companies selling products covered by EPR are obliged to collect the waste generated by their goods. However, a significant number prefer to assign this task to specialised environmental organisations, financing the waste collection through additional fees. As of 1st January 2022, retailers must register with ADEME, which will provide them with a unique identification number to prove compliance with the law after clearly verifying that they comply with their obligations. This number must be presented to marketplaces.

Furthermore, from 1st January 2023, this unique identifier will be included in the general terms and conditions of sale or in any contractual document shared with the buyer. In other words, this identifier will need to appear on some websites, namely: the producer’s website, the marketplace’s website, and broadly on any website selling EPR products.

It is necessary to follow the directives given by each marketplace to transmit the UID (Format: FRXXXXXXX_CODE) and modify their product feed according to their requests.

#For marketplaces

Marketplaces that practice distance selling and delivery of EPR products on behalf of third-party merchants are also subject to waste financing obligations. However, thanks to the unique identification number provided by ADEME, if they can prove that the merchants have already fulfilled these obligations, they will be exempt. This number is equivalent to “third-party compliance”. In short, marketplaces have every interest in requesting this number to avoid having to pay any additional fees. This is required as of 1st January 2022!

#For Lengow

To better assist you in complying with these new obligations, we closely monitor the procedures implemented by marketplaces, which can vary from one company to another. 

We have asked each marketplace for the procedure to follow so that you know exactly what you need to do on Lengow.

Each marketplace will retrieve the UIDs differently, for example, the Maisons du Monde marketplace has provided a new attribute in the feed to fill in the UID, called “seller-id-eco-org”. Lengow accompanies this change in the structure of the feed linked to Maisons du Monde and adds this field to the attributes to be completed.

To see all the changes requested by the marketplaces, head to our Help Center.

The ball is in your court now! If you haven’t already, make sure to contact the marketplaces on which you sell your products to find out what actions are required and then implement them.

Get in touch!

Image: Sarah Chai from Pexels

Naomi Botting

Field Marketing Specialist

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