National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia at the Fourth session of the First regular session in 2009, on May 12 2009 has passed the Law on Packaging and Packaging Waste (hereinafter the “Law“), which entered into force on May 23 2009.
The provisions of the Law refer to imported packaging, packaging that is produced or placed in the market and all packaging waste which is created from industrial activities in the territory of the Republic of Serbia. This Law seeks to achieve the purpose of conservation of natural resources, protection of the environment and human health, the development of modern packaging production, establishing an optimal system of package management and packaging waste, in accordance with the principle of separation of responsibilities. The basic principles of the division of responsibilities for all business entities are that “polluter pays” throughout the life cycle of the product, thus preventing or reducing the generation of packaging and packaging waste, reuse and recycling as well as voluntary consent on the management of packaging waste.
Manufacturers, importers, packers, fillers and suppliers, are obliged to submit report on the management of packaging and packaging waste in the previous year, with certain exceptions by 31 of March of the current year to the Agency for Environmental Protection.
Business subjects (importers and manufacturers) are now obliged, in accordance with the Plan for reducing of packaging waste in Republic of Serbia in 2010, to collect and recycle a minimum of five (5) percent of their packaging, although this percentage will successively increase, as well as to sign contracts with operators until May 23, 2010, if they wish to entrust their obligation for package management of waste to a third party.
The legislator has left the deadline of 12 months for the organizations to take over the packaging waste, the deadline of 18 months to ensure the management of packaging waste, etc.
If companies do not fulfill their obligations, prescribed penalty ranges from RSD 500,000.00 to RSD 1,000,000.00.