1. Who is a responsible packager according to Law 2939/01?
According to Law 2939 the responsible “packaging operators” are:
A. Producers and importers of raw materials
B. Producers and importers of packaged products which are supplied to the Greek market, namely Packagers
C. Transfer Agents, namely those who trade in packaged goods. In some cases these are the same as Packagers, as in the case of Super Markets for instance.
2. Which parties are obliged to sign the Agreement with HERRCo?
According to a decision by the competent Alternative Management Supervision Committee (EPED), the Agreement with the System of HERRCo is to be signed by:
Importers & producers of packaged products/goods.
Holders of Private Label Products/Brand Owners. The responsibility for such products is undertaken by the Brand Owner rather than the producer or importer.
Exports and multi-use packaging subject to re-use are excluded.
3. Are materials filled at the point of sale, such as carrier bags, wrapping paper, aluminium foil etc., considered packaging materials? If so, who is responsible for paying the contribution for these packaging materials?
According to a decision by the European Court of Justice (29/4/2004 in Luxembourg), the provisions of the European Directive 2004/12/ΕC and the clarifications by the competent Alternative Management Supervision Committee (EPED), materials filled at the point of sale, such as carrier bags, wrapping paper, aluminium foil etc., are considered packaging materials. In addition, according to a decision by the competent Alternative Management Supervision Committee (EPED), the contribution for these packaging materials is incurred by the company supplying them to the end consumer.
4. Which packaging items should a packager declare and make a contribution for to the System of HERRCo?
According to the provisions of the applicable Law (Article 2, paragraph 1 and Article 3, paragraph 1, section a), the framework of operation of the System and the related decisions of the competent departments of the Ministry of Environment, energy and climate change, all packaging managers must declare all packaging materials (primary, secondary and tertiary) of all products/goods supplied to the Greek market and the waste of packaging linked with their activities and derived from any material (raw material and/or processed material) and from all sources (households, commerce, industry, etc.).
The following are excluded:
Packaging items of products in respect of which a security scheme is applied, namely an individualized system.
Packaging items containing engine lubricants and lubricants for the transmission and steering system. A special Collective System has been approved with regard to these packaging items.
Hazardous packaging waste.
Packaging which is destroyed (it is accompanied by a destruction protocol) along with its content.
Packaging of exported products.
Please note the following:
In the event of import of products/goods, which are de-packaged at the importer facilities, the result being that the tertiary and/or secondary packaging thereof is disposed of (e.g. cartons, pallets, etc.), while the products/goods in question are in turn re-packaged and supplied to the Greek market in new packaging, then the importer must declare all packaging used (e.g. the packaging imported, de-packaged and re-packaged for distribution).
The operator must declare and contribute for the packaging of goods/products which have stopped being subject to re-use and have therefore been converted into waste.
5. Are there any sanctions foreseen in the event that a company does not comply with the above?
The criminal, administrative and other sanctions foreseen are described in detail in Article 20 of Law 2939/01 and refer to all three categories of packaging operators.
6. How can a party become a member of HERRCo?
In order to become a member of the Collective Alternative Management System (CAMS-RECYCLING) of HERRCo, any interested party must sign the Participation Agreement to the System which has been approved by the competent authorities.
7. Can any changes be made to the Agreement?
The Participation Agreement to the System of HERRCo has been submitted, on the one hand, to the competent bodies of the state and approved, and, on the other hand, it has already been signed by the already affiliated packaging operators as it stands, and therefore, it is not possible to make any alterations to it. However, you are welcome to state your remarks and we will reply to them.
8. Are the contributions to the System fixed and if not, why is there a possibility that they might change?
No, the contributions are not fixed, however the possibility of readjusting them is foreseen (Article 4.2 of the Agreement). In this way, we ensure that the System remains flexible in respect of changes in the prices for the distribution of secondary materials to the market, which are taken into account in the calculation of the total recycling cost. Another possible reason for readjusting the financial contributions is that the state might lay down a requirement for the implementation of projects in which use is made of packaging materials beyond those we have proposed in the folder submitted, which was approved by the Ministry of Environment, energy and climate change. On grounds related to the equitable treatment of operators and the protection of competition, it is required that a single pricing system be adopted for the services provided by HERRCo in the context of the services System. What is more, the determination of the amount of contribution must correspond to the criteria set forth by the law, while the prices of the financial contribution are to be approved by the competent bodies of the state. For these reasons, the readjustment of contributions cannot become the subject of bilateral negotiation between HERRCo and each operator. In addition, HERRCo shall notify all contracting parties in the event that the Table of Annex C1 of the Agreement is readjusted.
9. How is the money contributed to the System of HERRCo spent?
The money from the contributions of the parties are allocated for the execution of projects aiming at the attainment of the goals set by the state, and projects for which the Collective System of HERRCo has been approved. The System develops its projects according to its business plan and the implementation time schedule as this has been agreed on with the Ministry of Environment, energy and climate change. We should bear in mind that the implementation of the project presupposes the signing of agreements with the cooperating Local Authorities in each region concerned. The Collective System of HERRCo develops its projects according to its business plan and the implementation time schedule as agreed on and approved by the Ministry of Environment, energy and climate change, with a view to achieving the objectives set by Law 2939/01. Collection and recovery of packaging waste is already carried out in the operating recycling projects, by the Collective Alternative Management System of HERRCo and the cooperating Municipalities, within the boundaries of their respective regions.
10. Could you explain how the System of HERRCo works? Do shareholders receive dividends?
Under the meaning of Law 2939/01, the objective target of packaging operators (industry, commerce, etc.) is the more effective recovery of the resources they are obliged to contribute for the purposes set forth by the law. In order to ensure the effective recovery of resources, it is essential that the funding mechanism of alternative management be monitored and managed, as foreseen by the Law, and in line with the practices adopted throughout the entire EU (Green Dot Organizations, e.g. DSD, ECOEMBALLAGES, etc.). Please note that HERRCo was established by the enterprises responsible under Law 2939/01, in order to self-manage the legal obligation of commerce and industry. Therefore, membership on behalf of interested companies ensures: a. optimum cost and b. the certainty that financial resources are allocated exclusively to projects.
Consequently, no dividend is foreseen, in other words there is no profit gained from the undertaking as a whole, which is why the possibility of acquiring a shareholding in the share capital of HERRCo is open to any company interested.
11. What happens in the other countries of Europe?
Community Directive 94/62/EC applies to all Member States of the European Union. Ever since the beginning of the previous decade, systems similar to HERRCo have been in place in all European Union countries; what is more, these systems use the “Green Dot” sign, the licence for which you will obtain as well only upon signing the Agreement.
12. How does HERRCo ensure the validity of the data declared by each company by way of its “Declaration” and the “PPS” to the System?
The Agreement sets out the auditing system of HERRCo which pertains to all companies regardless of their “size” (Article 5). It sets out the possibility of auditing up to twice per year, without this being definite; an audit is rather foreseen if and provided that there is need to ascertain the accuracy of the data contained in the tables you submit by way of your “Declarations”.
Finally, in the event that the chartered auditor of your company certifies in his or her annual report the accuracy of the data contained in your “Declarations” to the System, then HERRCo may proceed to performing an audit only if the said certification is disputed.
13. Supposing a company imports products in Greece and pays contributions to the corresponding system in the countries of Europe from which the import is made, why is the company obliged to pay contributions in Greece as well?
According to the Agreement of both HERRCo in our country and the corresponding systems in the European Union signed by any party, the said party is obliged to declare and pay a contribution for the packaging materials supplied to the domestic market. Exports are excluded and pertain to the country in which the materials are consumed and the corresponding System of that country. Consequently, with regard to the packaged products/goods imported in Greece no contribution has been paid to any European System; yet, a contribution is payable to HERRCo.
14. Do we have to pay additional contributions for the use of the “Dot” on our products?
The financial contribution as it is set forth in the Partnership Agreement with HERRCo covers the use of the “Dot” as well. The use of the “Dot” has been exclusively granted to HERRCo by its owner and HERRCo in turn may grant its licence to the contracting parties, which may place it on the packaging referred to in their “Declaration”.
15. How is the Alternative Management Certificate (AMC) granted?
According to the provisions of Law 2939/01 (Article 9), the Alternative Management Certificate (AMC) is granted by the competent state authorities. The approved by the State Collective Alternative Management System (CAMS-RECYCLING) of HERRCo grants a “Certificate of Participation” in the System (Article 9, paragraph 3 of the law) pursuant to which the AMC is to be issued.
Further details may be requested by the competent departments of the Ministry of Environment, energy and climate change (Office of Alternative Management of Packaging & Other Products, Office for the Alternative Management of Packaging and other Products (GEDSAP), +30 210-8654950).
16. Can we acquire a shareholding in the share capital of HERRCo?
HERRCo is a multi-shareholder corporation of enterprises which was established in line with the standards of corresponding systems in other EU countries. (e.g. ECO-EMBALLAGES in France, DSD in Germany, CONAI in Italy, FOST-PLUS in Belgium, ECOEMBES in Spain, SOCIEDADE PONTO VERDE in Portugal, etc.). Furthermore, it has been stated in writing that the possibility of acquiring a shareholding in its share capital structure is open. This is confirmed by the fact that there has already been an increase in the share capital of HERRCo and four new enterprises have joined in as shareholders.
17. Are instruction sheets counted in contributions?
Instruction sheets are not considered packaging components and therefore they are not taken into account when it comes to financial contributions.
18. Can our contributions be included in our company’s expenses and if so under which category?
The contributions to HERRCo constitute expenses of the operators and are deducted from the tax payable, in other words they are registered as expenses in the category expenditure for Subscriptions-Contributions under the code 64-05-ΧΧ.
19. Who is going to manage my own rubbish – waste?
The Collective System of HERRCo develops its projects according to its business plan and its implementation time schedule, as agreed and approved by the Ministry of Environment, energy and climate change, with a view to attaining the objectives set by Law 2939/01. The collection and recovery of packaging waste is already carried out in the operating recycling projects by the Collective Alternative Management System and the cooperating Municipalities, within the boundaries of their own regions.
Under the concept of Collegiality, in accordance with Law 2939/01, the System of HERRCo enables all contracting parties to fulfill their legal obligation in a lawful manner, without this presupposing the collection and recovery of packaging waste by each contracting party individually but rather collectively, through all of the System’s projects throughout Greece.
20. I already see to disposing of my waste on an individual level, by paying municipal “fees”. Why do I have to pay for the System as well?
Being a member of CAMS-RECYCLING which is organized by HERRCo, enables each affiliated packaging operator to fulfill their legal obligations for as long as the System operates under the licence granted by the Ministry of Environment, energy and climate change. Consequently, the contributions paid by each contracting company to HERRCo, are not related to the removal of waste produced, but rather account for its share in the costs involved in achieving the business plan approved by the Ministry of Environment, energy and climate change. The financial contributions of parties to the Collective Alternative Management System (CAMS-RECYCLING) of HERRCo pertain to the alternative management of packaging waste produced as a result of all their activities (industry, commerce, offices, stores, services, households or any other source) and they should not be confused with the “fees” paid by companies to Municipalities for the management of their waste in its entirety.
21. What about industrial packaging?
The alternative management of packaging from household waste and the commercial sector is already being carried out in the regions of the projects where the System of HERRCo is in operation.
In seeking to expand its activities HERRCo has engaged in partnerships with private recyclers operating in the field of collecting and recycling packaging waste from the Industrial and Commercial sector.