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eBay recognizes SMEs. It's about EU regulations

eBay ujmuje się za MŚP. Chodzi o unijne przepisy

eBay believes that some regulations create unnecessary obstacles to the EU single market. – Work is currently underway on a new EU waste management framework that would oblige SMEs to go through many complex registration procedures before selling in the EU. These new rules are also known as extended producer responsibility, explains eBay.

The original purpose of these rules is to make sellers who first place a product on the national market liable at the end of the product's life cycle when it becomes waste and needs to be prepared for reuse, recycled or destroyed.

Who is responsible for the product?

EPR obligations essentially involve registering with a producer responsibility organization (also known as the EPR scheme), reporting the number of products you place on the market and paying the associated 'EPR fees' to fund reuse/recycling/disposal mechanisms. This process must be repeated for each new product category and new EU country in which the seller sells.

New regulation on packaging and packaging waste

The European Commission is changing its waste management framework. In 2022, it proposed a new Regulation on packaging and packaging waste, as well as a revised Waste Framework Directive. The proposals aim to tackle the problem of free-riding, which refers to products placed on the market without respecting EPR rules. To this end, the proposals require marketplaces to proactively collect evidence of EPR compliance from their third-party sellers in each EU country where they "offer" their product before they can complete any sale.

However, the Commission is not changing the basic structure of the EPR rules, which remain regulated at national level. This means that a seller who wants to sell a product across the EU single market will need to complete as many as 27 different registrations before he can offer and advertise that product to European buyers.

What are the risks for the SME sector in Europe?

The adoption of the new proposed regulations will have a significant impact on any small business wishing to use an e-commerce platform to sell online in Europe.

Specifically, to register and start selling in the EU on an e-commerce platform, you will need to provide at least 27 different EPR registration numbers. Even more if the company sells in more than one EPR product category. This means signing a contract with each system responsible for managing EPR for this category in a given national market.

"Our association Ecommerce Europe has estimated that the costs of EPR compliance for a small business wanting to access the entire Single Market could be up to €140,000 and 39 business days each year," says eBay.

eBay has prepared a petition on this matter. Collecting signatures at the link .

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