Licensing service for packaging
HOW TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR PACKAGING.
We, as a non profit organizationtake on all obligations you have as a producer, importer or packer under the Austrian Packaging Ordinance. Just sign a Compliance and License Agreement – and let us and our partners ensure the efficient and cost-effective collection, management and recovery of your packaging from business, industry and households.
In line with all legal requirements
A win for our customers
The right expertise at your side
WHY WE OFFER THE BEST POSSIBLE RATES.
ARA is member-owned and the only collection and recovery scheme in Austria that has been a non-profit organisation from day one. It is our stated goal to provide you with packaging compliance services at the lowest sustainable cost. In addition, as our customer you benefit from the ongoing optimisation of our collection, sorting and recovery scheme and from our commitment to economic efficiency.
Committed to the true-cost principle
Our rates are calculated separately for the household and commercial schemes and for each rate category. The rates reflect the expenses the various packaging materials cause in the collection and recovery cycle. We pass on cost savings and unscheduled surpluses to our customers.
To download the list of our rates, browse our FAQs on the services we offer and take the fast track to ARA membership, go here. →
OUR COMPLIANCE SERVICES AND BEYOND.
We offer legally compliant solutions that are tailored to your company’s needs. They cover the full range from an efficient approach to calculating the amount of packaging you place on the market to a convenient online data reporting system. Our account managers and the experts answering the ARA hotline provide excellent consulting services and make sure that queries are handled promptly throughout Austria.
Tailored to your needs
Determining the amount of packaging you place on the market is key to ensuring compliance. We assist you in developing a bespoke, compliant and efficient weight calculation solution for your company. We also support you with implementation, weighing and documentation. This helps you save valuable time and resources.
In search of the optimum
Our experts analyse the processes you have in place for classifying packaging and establishing the amount of packaging you place on the market in Austria. Then we come up with suggestions for improvement based on our findings. Ensuring legal compliance of your processes means you run a lower risk of incurring an administrative penalty.
Assistance for audits
We are there for you every step of the way when your company is audited by the Packaging Coordination Board (Verpackungskoordinierungsstelle – VKS). Just like tax consultants for a tax audit, our experts have in-depth knowledge of all relevant laws and regulations, so they can clear up any questions as soon as they arise and help you address any legitimate concerns the VKS may have.
International compliance service
Advice for your business abroad
Your business is international? You export goods or have a place of business abroad? As part of the PRO Europe network we are in close coordination with Europe's leading packaging and packaging waste recovery and recycling systems. We are happy to provide guidance and, if necessary, connect you to the right contacts in your target markets. This allows you to minimise risk so you can focus on your core business.
Fast, simple and legally certain.
The ARA online reporting system allows you to submit your packaging data via the Internet. Monthly, quarterly or annually, depending on the amount of packaging you place on the market. It’s fast and free of fuss.
Legally binding declaration
Save time and ensure legal compliance.
The Connect online portal provides legal certainty at the push of a button: Under the Austrian Packaging Ordinance, the compliance status of packaging must be documented with legally binding declarations. Use the Connect portal to send declarations to your customers – it’s secure and hassle-free.
A symbol of commitment
When you enter an ARA Compliance and License Agreement for the packaging you place on the market in Austria, you are entitled to use the dot symbol on this packaging. The symbol shows that you meet your producer responsibility obligations.
* ARAplus GmbH provides a contingent of selected services free of charge.
Information and downloads
ARA packaging licensing rates
ARA’s rates are calculated separately for the household and commercial schemes and for each rate category. They reflect the expenses the various packaging materials cause in the collection and recovery cycle. In line with ARA’s non-profit status, we pass on cost savings and unscheduled surpluses to our customers.
Here you will find everything you need to know about your Compliance and License Agreement for packaging.
Legal basis for packaging licensing
The Austrian Waste Management Act and the Austrian Packaging Ordinance apply to anyone who places packaging or packaged goods on the market in Austria. They form the legal basis on which businesses join a collection and recovery scheme in Austria.
Businesses have two options for complying with their obligations under the Packaging Ordinance. Each of them comes with different requirements (see below). For household packaging, membership in a collection and recovery scheme has been mandatory since 1 January 2015 (Art. 8 Packaging Ordinance 2014). For commercial packaging, the obligation to join a collection and recovery scheme applies from 1 January 2023.
1. Obligations of businesses opting for self-compliance
- Collect packaging through an adequate collection scheme
- Ensure reuse of packaging or send it to state-of-the-art facilities for recovery
- Meet minimum recycling rates for each material
- Submit annual data reports to the Austrian Environment Ministry, including a breakdown by packaging materials, the amount of packaging placed on the market, the amount captured, the return rate in percent, the amount and transferee
2. Obligations of businesses opting for a collection and recovery scheme
- Enter a compliance and license agreement
- Submit data on the amount of packaging placed on the market
- Pay the material-specific rate
Abfallwirtschaftsgesetz (Austrian Waste Management Act) 2002, as amended (German) →
Verpackungsverordnung (Austrian Packaging Ordinance) 2014, as amended (German) →
Verpackungsabgrenzungsverordnung (Austrian Packaging Classification Ordinance) 2015 (German) →
Verpackungsabgrenzungsverordnung-Novelle (amendment to the Austrian Packaging Classification Ordinance) 2016 (German)→
Abgeltungsverordnung Haushaltsverpackungen (Austrian Remuneration Ordinance, household packaging), version of 23 September 2015 (German) →
EU circular economy action plan →
EU Single-Use Plastics Directive →
European Waste Framework Directive →
EU Packaging Directive. Directive (EU) 2018/852 amending Directive 94/62/EC on packaging and packaging waste →
ARA Fact sheets and guidelines
Classification of packaging from 2015 and GVM study
Overview obligations single-use plastic products (German) - Download →
Single-use plastics products: Reporting and classification (German) - Download →
Austrian Single-Use Plastics Labelling Ordinance (German) – Download →
Reporting of plastic carrier bags (German) – Download →
Changes to the classification of packaging vs. non-packaging – Download →
Classification of packaging – Download →
GVM guideline (German) – Download →
GVM product group data sheets (German) – Download →
GVM overview of correction rates (German) – Download →
Information about the Austrian Packaging Classification Ordinance (German) – Go to website →
Information about the Single-use Plastics Directive (German) – Go to website →
2016 amendment to the Packaging Classification Ordinance (German) – Download →
ARA fact sheets
Beverage cartons (German) – Download →
Envelopes and mailing bags (German) – Download →
Packaging made of biodegradable materials (German) – Download →
Products made from recycled plastic packaging (German) – Download →
Reminder service (German) – Download →
Transport, sales, secondary and service packaging (German) – Download →
VAT for foreign license partners (German) – Download →
Gross to net method (German) – Download →
Composite packaging (German) – Download →
Product groups (German) – Download →
Black list – Download →
(Packaging containing hazardous substances that cannot be covered by an ARA compliance agreement)
How to empty packaging (German) – Download →
Legally binding declarations
Under the Austrian Packaging Ordinance, producers, importers and packers/fillers of packaging are required to inform their customers in advance of the compliance status of packaging, including a breakdown by rate category and the collection and recovery scheme used for each category.
This means you must provide compliance information to every one of your customers. And you have to obtain legally binding declarations from all suppliers who provide you with goods in packaging already covered by a compliance agreement.
This annual or quarterly procedure can be tedious. Use our declarations database to minimise the time and effort involved. You can access the declarations database through our Online Portal.
Fact sheet on the declarations database (PDF) →
Quick guide on how to enter data (PDF, German) →
Quick guide on how to retrieve data (PDF, German) →
Templates for download:
Declaration template for commercial packaging – Download →
Declaration template for household packaging, supplier – Download →
Declaration template for packaging as a product, supplier (German) – Download →
Declaration template for imported household and commercial packaging (German) – Download →
Declaration template for the butchery trade (German) – Download →
For up-to-date calculation aids in German, please refer to the website of the Austrian Packaging Coordination Board (Verpackungskoordinierungsstelle).
ARA collection sites
Our success is in no small part due to the good cooperation with municipal and private waste management and recovery service providers.
A map and list of collection sites across Austria is available here →
List of license partners
Compliance schemes are legally required to disclose who their members are.
This requirement ensures full transparency.
The license partner directory of VKS GmbH contains the full list of all system participants at austrian producer responsibility organisations.
Go to the directory →
Frequently asked questions
Compliance and License Agreement
Our company is established outside Austria. Can we still become or remain an ARA license partner?
Yes. Businesses established in another country can also become ARA license partners. Please note that in this case, the responsibility for accounting for any VAT due typically falls on you (reverse charge).
Our company address/name or other company data have changed. How do I notify ARA of such changes?
Please go to the ARA Online Portal to edit your company data in the relevant input fields.
The compliance and license agreement does not contain information on your rates. How and when will I be notified of the rates?
Go to Information and downloads – Rates on this page to download the list of rates.
What is 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, you no longer have to submit packaging data reports. All you have to do is pay the flat-rate fee once a year. Please refer to the current list of rates.
How does the flat-rate scheme work?
On 1 January 2015, we introduced a flat-rate scheme for small amounts of packaging. It is available to those of our members who place no more than 1,500 kg of household and commercial packaging on the market in a given calendar year. If this applies to you, all you have to do is pay the flat-rate fee once a year. You will receive an invoice for the past year in January, and you are no longer required to submit packaging data to us.
I don’t want to use the flat-rate scheme. Can I still submit annual data reports?
Yes. Using the flat-rate scheme is optional. You can still submit annual data reports and specify the amount of packaging you place on the market in Austria in a given year. Should you choose to do so, you will be charged the minimum fee.
Where can I find ARA’s Terms and Conditions?
ARA’s Terms and Conditions can be downloaded here.
ARA online reporting
Do I have to use the online reporting system?
Yes. There is no alternative to using the ARA Online Portal.
We cannot use the online reporting system. What are the alternatives?
Under the Austrian Waste Management Act, ARA AG has only one week to process the data reports of all license partners. The deadline for submitting the data to the Austrian Environment Ministry is three weeks after the end of each calendar month. We can only meet this deadline if all license partners switch to online reporting, which allows faster processing. This is why there is no alternative to using the ARA Online Portal.
Will I receive an invoice?
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. The procedure is somewhat different for users of the flat-rate scheme (see “How does the flat-rate scheme work?”).
Data submission and payment
What are the data submission and payment deadlines?
Data submission: In line with the amendment to the Austrian Waste Management Act, monthly and quarterly reporters have to submit their data already on the 15th day of the month immediately following the reporting period (month/quarter). In addition, they have to submit a year-end statement by 15 March of the following year.
Annual reporters have to submit data on the amount of packaging they actually place on the market (instead of projected data). The deadline is 15 January of the year immediately following the reporting period. No year-end statement is required.
Payment: Your payment is due on the 15th day of the second month following the reporting period. This means the deadline for submitting
- monthly data for January is 15 February, and payment for that period is due on 15 March;
- quarterly data for the first quarter is 15 April, and payment is due on 15 May;
- annual data is 15 January, and payment is due on 15 February.
How can I determine the reporting period?
Annual data submission:
If your company’s projected annual fees for household and commercial packaging are each lower than € 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 € 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:
If you place no more than 1,500 kg of household and commercial packaging on the market in a given year, you will receive an invoice for the past year in January, and you are no longer required to submit packaging data to us.
I would like to change the reporting period (e.g. from quarterly to annually). Is that possible?
Please use the appropriate reporting period. The threshold values for monthly, quarterly and annual data reports are laid down in the Austrian Packaging Ordinance.
Is the minimum fee added to the regular fee?
That depends on the amount reported for a given year. If the calculated fee for that year falls below the minimum fee level, you will have to pay the minimum fee as per your electronic invoice. If the calculated fee is higher than that, the minimum fee is not added. For instance, the compliance fee based on your annual data report is EUR 30, and the minimum fee is EUR 90. You will have to pay your calculated fee and the EUR 60 balance against the minimum fee (plus VAT).