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Since 2006, a regulation has been in force stating that all parties professionally serving or importing drinks ready for consumption in plastic bottles or metal cans must ensure that the product is included in an approved return system. (This does not apply to drinks that mainly consist of dairy products.) Juice products and fruit syrup in plastic and metal packaging will by January 2023 transfer to regulation-governed connection agreements and thus those products must also be included in an approved deposit system.
If you want to connect your business to the deposit system you should know that:
- F-tax and VAT registration are required for Swedish companies and VAT numbers for foreign companies
- Returpack makes a credit assessment of your company and calculates eventual security fee. Returpack maintains the security fee during the duration of the agreement. When the agreement expires and your product has stopped including money for deposit, Returpack will repay the fee.
- Dairy products in aluminium cans that are not forced to be included in an approved return system can be connected voluntarily. The contract process and terms are the same.
- You pay a separate supervision fee to the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (Naturvårdsverket).
All the contract terms to the agreement:
Appendix 1 - General terms Optional Products
Appendix 2 - Technical Specification and Marking Manual
Appendix 3 - Handling Fee and Current Deposit Amount from 1/1 2023
Must all kinds of drinking packages need to be included in an approved return system?
According to Swedish legislation, all beverage packaging in plastic and metal must be included in an approved return system in order to be allowed to be sold in Sweden. Returpack's deposit system is one such. Until December 2022, juice and juice products can be voluntarily connected to the deposit system, after which they are covered by the regulation. Some dairy-based products - in metal cans - can now be voluntarily connected to the deposit system.
As of January 2023, juice and juice products, regardless of concentrate content, must be included in the deposit system according to the regulation. Read more about the transition from voluntary to regulated connection.
Dairy drinks, drinks that contain more than 50 percent dairy content, are currently exempt from regulation-controlled connection to the deposit system, but now Returpack is opening up to voluntarily connecting the dairy drinks sold in cans.
Please, contact Returpack if you are unsure whether your product can be included.
What do I need to report to Returpack?
By the 7th of each month, you must report how many products per barcode you sold during the previous month. You report it on the customer portal My Pages. Returpack then sends an invoice for deposit and fees and follows the products' recycling.
What about VAT and deposit?
In the store, the deposit has the same VAT rate is dependent on the type of beverage, that is, grocerys like soft drinks and water have 12% in VAT and then the deposit also has 12% VAT (net deposit 0,89 SEK + 12% VAT = 1 SEK) Strong beer has 25% in VAT and the deposit also has 25% (net deposit 0,80 SEK + 25% VAT = 1 SEK).
When Returpack, as responsible for the deposit system, invoices or pays out the deposit money to the trade, the deposit is handled separately from the product and then the deposit is instead seen as a service. Services in Sweden has a VAT at 25%. So, when Returpack invoices the producers and importers for a deposit, or pays it to the stores, the deposit is subject to VAT at 25%.
Companies neither win nor lose on different VAT rates. It is not the percentage that is important but the relationship between how much you get in VAT when you invoice and how much you pay in VAT to your suppliers. When you invoice VAT, a debt arises to the state and when you pay an invoice, a claim arises on the state. These records will replace each other. If you have paid more net in VAT, you get the surplus back and if you have received more VAT than you paid, you have to pay the difference afterwards. VAT thus has no direct effect on a company's earnings.
What about entering optional products to the recycling system?
For dairy products in cans, which are not forced to be part of an approved return system, the producer can choose to voluntarily join Returpack and the deposit system. The contract process and terms are the same.
Read through the general conditions that apply to voluntary connection to the deposit system. More information about the requirements placed on the products can be found in our technical specification.
Which are the necessary requirements for a can to be included in the return system?
The can is assessed to ensure that it functions optimally throughout the recycling process. Here you see the requirements that are set, for example, on material, deposit marking and bar code. All requirements are to be found in our technical specification.
Which are the necessary requirements for a PET bottle to be included in the return system?
The bottle is assessed to ensure that it functions optimally throughout the recycling process. Here you see the requirements that are set, for example, on material, adhesives, printing ink, deposit marking and bar code. All requirements are to be found in our technical specification.
How much does it cost to be a part of the deposit recycling system?
For plastic bottles and steel cans, the producer or importer pays a fee for each package sold to Returpack. The fee covers administration, collection and sorting of the packaging. For plastic bottles, the fee depends on the size and colour of the packaging. You pay a lower fee for a clear, transparent bottle than a coloured bottle. This is because a clear bottle can be reused and turned into a new bottle. The coloured plastic material is also reused for new products but cannot become food packaging. The same fees per connected package apply to voluntarily connected products.
For aluminium cans, the packaging fee is currently SEK 0.
When connecting with connection to the deposit system and thereafter annually, you pay an inspection fee to the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency according to regulation 2022:1274. The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency visits shops and wholesalers and makes sure that all packaging that according to the regulation must be connected to the deposit system is and that the deposit symbol is visible on the can or bottle. If a drink is sold without a deposit, the store risks having to pay a fee. Read more about the conditions that apply to connection to the deposit system.
The supervisory fee is based on the previous year's sales volumes and is structured as follows:
1. SEK 2,000 for 0–100,000 Packages.
2. SEK 10,000 for 100,001–1,000,000 Packages.
3. SEK 30,000 for 1,000,001–10,000,000 Packages.
4. SEK 40,000 for more than 10,000,000 Packages
Voluntary members pay SEK 1,250/year for supervision regardless of sales volume.
The deposit is not a fee
The deposit is not a fee but rotates between the producer, Returpack, shop and consumer. In the store, the deposit is reported separately on the price tag and is not included in the sales price. Read more about deposit and fees.