European Commission to combat online freeriding

December 23rd, 2021

The European Commission wants to combat freeriding by improving compliance with extended producer responsibility (EPR) obligations for online sales. To this end, it has commissioned a study from the consultancy firm Eunomia to assess the scale of the freeriding problem and to identify regulatory measures to improve the situation.

A stricter enforcement framework that addresses distance sales is also a priority from article 8a (5) of the EU Waste Framework Directive for Member States to be transposed by January 2023.

At the beginning of November, the first results of the study were presented and discussed with over a hundred stakeholders at an online workshop in which Landbell Group took part. The focus of the discussion was on the list of regulatory measures developed by Eunomia.

Among other things, the consultants propose better harmonization of requirements among Member States including a European register (or at least single national registers) covering all waste streams to reduce complexity for online shops.

In addition, online marketplaces would be obliged to inform their sellers of their extended producer responsibility - EPR obligations and to crosscheck whether their information matches that of the register.

The final study is to be published in March. It is still to be seen when – and in what form – its results will translate into concrete legislative action.

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