Last Updated: July 28, 2016
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This report provides an overview of legislation of Belgium that imposes obligations with respect to packaging of electrical and electronic equipment and other products.

In 1994, the EU adopted the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive 94/62/EEC (the "Directive"), which partly harmonizes Member States' national packaging legislation. The Directive imposes design, take-back and information requirements on packaging.

Belgium transposed the Directive through a number of legislative documents. This transposition appears to be consistent with the Directive.

Waste management is a responsibility of the three regions of Belgium (Brussels, Flanders, Wallonia), while product standards are a federal responsibility. Therefore, the Essential Requirements and heavy metal limits set forth in Directive 94/62 on Packaging and Packaging Waste (as amended) have been implemented at the federal level, while the recovery and recycling targets and other provisions are implemented at the regional level.

At the federal level, the Act on Product Standards Aimed at Promoting Sustainable Production and Consumption and at Protecting the Environment and Health, of 21 December 1998 transposes the essential requirements imposed by the Packaging Directive (the "Packaging Act").

Based on the Product Standards Act, the heavy metal limits set out in the Packaging Directive were transposed via the Royal Decree on Product Standards for Packaging of 25 March 1999. This Decree also incorporates the Commission Decision setting out conditions for exemption from the heavy metal limits for plastic crates and pallets used in closed loops and transposes the essential requirements on biodegradable packaging.

At the regional level, an Inter-Regional Cooperation Agreement on the Prevention and Management of Packaging Waste was adopted on 4 November 2008 (as last amended on 2 April 2015) to coordinate regional waste management policy (the "Cooperation agreement"). The three regions then enacted the relevant provisions of the Agreement via Decrees by the Flemish, Walloon and Brussels Capital Region Governments. The governmental institution Interregional Packaging Commission (IRPC) was set up to monitor compliance with the Belgian legislation on packaging waste and is a joint institution of the Flemish, Walloon and Brussels Capital Region.

Further, Belgium has imposed an eco-tax for packaging. The Eco-tax Law of 1993 (as last amended on 18 December 2015) covers packaging for industrial quantities of solvents, glues and inks, including plastic and aluminum foil.

This report provides an overview of the national provisions that differ from or complement the Directive, including where the Directive leaves discretion to the Member States. For a detailed discussion of the Directive, including the definition of packaging, see the subject report on Packaging and Labeling in European Union.

Note that additional chemical restrictions may also be imposed on packaging by the REACH Regulation, the POP Regulation, and other chemical regulations. For substance-specific information, please refer to the EU Restricted Substance Database. Please also refer to the subject report on Restricted Substances Overview in European Union.


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