Frequently Asked Questions
ARA Compliance and License Agreement
Do I have to return the signed Compliance and License Agreement by post or can I fax it or send it by e-mail?
Please send us both copies by post. We will then send you your copy of the signed agreement.
Yes. Businesses based outside Austria can also use the benefits of an ARA license partnership. Please note that in this case, you are usually responsible for accounting for any VAT due (reverse charge).
Our company address, company name or other company data have changed. How do I notify ARA of such changes?
Please use the ARA online portal to notify us of any changes to your company data. Just log in to the portal and edit your data in the relevant input field(s).
The Compliance and License Agreement does not contain information about ARA’s tariff rates – how and when will I be notified of the tariff rates?
You can use the flat-rate scheme if the amount of packaging you place on the market in a given year is no more than 1,500 kg of household packaging and no more than 1,500 kg of commercial packaging. In this case, you do not have to submit packaging data reports – all you have to do is pay the annual flat fee. Please refer to the list of tariffs for the flat fee amount.
Since 1 January 2015, we have offered a flat-rate scheme for ARA license partners who place no more than 1,500 kg of household packaging and no more than 1,500 kg of commercial packaging on the market in a given calendar year. If these criteria apply to your company, all you have to do is pay an annual flat fee (we will send you an electronic invoice for the past year in January). You are no longer required to submit packaging data reports.
Can I still submit annual data reports and not use the flat-rate scheme even if our company is eligible for it?
You do not have to use the flat-rate scheme; you can still submit data on the amount of packaging you placed on the market in a given year. If you choose to do so, the minimum fee applies.
Data submission deadline: Due to the amendment to the Waste Management Act (WMA), monthly and quarterly reporters have to submit their data already on the 15th day of the month immediately following the reporting period (month / quarter / year). Annual reporters have to submit data on the actual amount of packaging they placed on the market (so year-end statements are no longer required), and the deadline for submission is 15 January of the year immediately following the reporting year. Monthly and quarterly reporters have to submit a year-end statement by 15 March of the following year.
Payment deadline: Payment is due on the 15th day of the second month following the reporting period.
This means you have to
- submit the monthly data report for January on 15 February, and payment is due on 15 March; or
- submit the quarterly data report for the first quarter on 15 April, and payment is due on 15 May; or
- submit your annual data report on 15 January, and payment is due on 15 February.
Simple data submission via ARA’s online reporting tool: All the resources you need (including all forms) are available on the ARA online portal.
Flat-rate scheme for small packaging producers: If the amount of packaging you place on the market in a given year is no more than 1,500 kg of household packaging and no more than 1,500 kg of commercial packaging, you do not have to submit packaging data reports. All you have to do is pay the flat-rate fee once per year. We will send you an invoice for the previous year in January (2016 for the first time).
Primary obligation: Under the WMA amendment, so-called entities with a primary obligation are responsible for ensuring compliance with packaging regulations. Please note that for household packaging, the suppliers of entities with a primary obligation can still fulfil the relevant obligations on behalf of their customers, but the customers of entities with a primary obligation are no longer allowed to do so on behalf of their suppliers.
Definition of household/commercial packaging: The amended Waste Management Act contains a general rule on how to distinguish between household and commercial packaging. The Environment Ministry has issued an ordinance (Verpackungsabgrenzungsverordnung) to further clarify this general rule.
Packaging Coordination Board: The newly established Packaging Coordination Board has the task of verifying the accuracy of the packaging data reports submitted by the customers of all collection and recovery schemes in Austria.
Flexible participation: Submitting all your packaging data to ARA as before is, of course, the easiest option, but you can also use more than one compliance scheme. If you wish to do so, just log in to the ARA online portal and indicate the packaging and tariff categories for which you wish to suspend participation.
Modern contractual framework: All contractual rules are set out in ARA’s Terms and Conditions. You have to sign only one document – even if your company is based outside Austria or if you offer a compliance service for service packaging.
ARA’s Terms and Conditions can be downloaded from our website at http://www.ara.at/fileadmin/user_upload/pdf/ARA_Vertrag/ARA_AGB_2014_Englisch.pdf.
Yes. You can download the translated agreement from here: http://www.ara.at/e/clients/compliance-and-license-agreement-tc.html
Please note that only the signed German version of the agreement is legally binding. The translation is provided for information purposes only.
Data submission and payment
Monthly and quarterly reporters:
Monthly and quarterly data have to be submitted on the 15th day of the month immediately following the reporting period (month / quarter).
Payment is due one month after the data submission deadline – that is, on the 15th day of the second month following the reporting period (month / quarter).
- You have to submit your monthly data for January on 15 February, and payment is due on 15 March.
- You have to submit your quarterly data for the first quarter on 15 April, and payment is due on 15 May.
The data submission deadline is 15 January. You have to provide data on the actual amount of packaging placed on the market and covered by the agreement in the preceding year. Payment is due on 15 February.
Your advantage: Annual reporters do not have to submit year-end statements.
ARA flat-rate scheme for very small amounts of packaging:
Since 1 January 2015, we have offered a flat-rate scheme for ARA license partners who place no more than 1,500 kg of household packaging and no more than 1,500 kg of commercial packaging on the market in a given calendar year. If these criteria apply to your company, all you have to do is pay an annual flat fee. We will send you an electronic invoice for the past year in January. You are not required to submit packaging data reports.
Annual data submission:
If your company’s projected annual fees for household and commercial packaging are each lower than EUR 1,500, you are an annual reporter.
Monthly data submission:
If your company’s projected annual fee for either household packaging or commercial packaging is higher than EUR 20,000, you are a monthly reporter.
Quarterly data submission:
In all other cases, you belong to the group of quarterly reporters.
Small packaging producers:
Please note that you are eligible for our flat-rate scheme from January 2015 if you place no more than 1,500 kg of household packaging and no more than 1,500 kg of commercial packaging on the market in a given year. In accordance with the new Packaging Ordinance, you pay a flat fee once per year. We will send you an electronic invoice for the past year in January. You are not required to submit packaging data reports.
Please stick to the correct reporting period. The reporting thresholds specified in the Packaging Ordinance are binding.
Do I have to pay the minimum fee in addition to the amount due based on our data report or is it included?
It depends on the amount due based on your data reports: If the fee calculated for a given calendar year is lower than the minimum fee, you have to pay the full minimum fee (we will send you an electronic invoice). If it is higher than that, the minimum fee is already covered – there is no need to add it to your fee. For instance, if the compliance fee based on your annual packaging data is EUR 30, you will be charged an additional EUR 60 to cover the difference between your compliance fee and the minimum fee, which is currently set at EUR 90 excluding VAT.
Online data submission
Yes, use of the tool is mandatory for ARA license partners.
Pursuant to the Waste Management Act, we have no more than one week to process all data reports submitted by our license partners, and the deadline for data submission to the Environment Ministry is three weeks after the end of each calendar month. All license partners have to use the online reporting tool as it speeds up data processing. This is why we offer no alternative to the ARA online portal for the submission of your data reports.
Yes, you will receive an electronic invoice. Once we receive your packaging data via the ARA online portal, we will calculate the compliance fee and send you an electronic invoice. Things are a little different for flat-rate scheme users (see “How does the flat-rate scheme work?”).