Environment Minister Han Jeong-ae said at the National Assembly on the 17th that the pre-inspection and labeling system for packaging is “already implemented in Germany and must be taken.” Mi-hyang Yoon, who is causing controversy over the preliminary inspection of packaging materials, amendments to the Resource Recycling Act This is a remark.
Is this true? The Korean Economic Daily looked into German-related laws with the help of legal experts and economic experts, and found that it was far from the facts. Although it is true that Germany has a legislation regulating packaging materials, it does not stipulate the pre-inspection and labeling obligations of packaging materials and methods, which the domestic economy is concerned about. It was also confirmed that South Korea’s penalties are much higher than that of Germany.
Germany has no prior inspection and labeling obligations
As a result of an analysis of the German New Packaging Act by the Korea Economic Daily on the 21st with legal and economic experts, it was found that the bill does not impose a preliminary inspection of packaging materials and methods and the obligation to display the packaging surface of the inspection results.
It is true that the legislation stipulates pre-registration of packaging products and post-reporting of packaging materials, but this is operated by self-regulation. One legal expert said, “The purpose of the amendment of the German law is to use only packaging materials approved through pre-registration and pay a share related to recycling, which is not related to the Korean law amendment that mandates prior inspection.”
Article 7 of the Act requires manufacturers and recycling companies to specify the type, weight, and registration number of packaging materials when participating in the recycling organization, and Article 10 stipulates the obligation to report and includes a registration number as one of the items to be reported. It does not mean that you should write. “If you interpret it that way, it’s a misreading,” the expert added.
Earlier, in an inquiry about the amendment to the’Act on the Promotion of Saving and Recycling of Resources (Resource Recycling Act)’ initiated by 12 Democratic Party lawmakers including Yoon Mi-hyang and Democratic Party lawmakers at the National Assembly’s Environmental Labor Committee, “I agree with the purpose of the bill. He said, “The method is being implemented in Germany,” but it is difficult to find similar provisions in German law.
Korea’s only packaging method regulation
Not only the packaging material, but also the packaging method, such as the percentage of packaging space and the number of packaging, is considered a difficult topic in foreign laws such as Germany.
According to the current Resource Recycling Act, not only the packaging material but also the percentage and number of packaging space are subject to regulation. The packaging space ratio refers to the difference in volume between the package and the contents. The economic community argues that the hype is a provision that was made hastily after controversy. An official from the economy explained, “There are cases where regulations on packaging materials such as the use of eco-friendly materials are enforced, but it is difficult to find a case where a fine is imposed by calculating the volume difference between packages and contents in a batch.
In the event of a violation of the law, Korea is also stronger than Germany. Germany imposes a fine for violating the New Packaging Law. In the case of Korea, if the amendment to the Resource Recycling Act is passed, a business operator who does not undergo a preliminary inspection or flags falsely is imprisoned for not more than one year or fined not more than 10 million won. It will even criminalize anyone who violates the packaging regulations.
The post-test pass rate is over 80%.
The economic community is explaining that the revision of this law is over-legislative. It is based on the fact that even in the current system, where a fine for negligence is imposed through post-inspection for packaging that may appear to be problematic, business operators generally comply well with their obligations.
According to the 2019 packaging inspection results released by the Korea Environment Corporation, which is one of the specialized agencies that inspect packaging compliance, more than 80% of the 3976 total inspections are determined to be packaging that meets the standards. The acceptance rate is 83% for the packaging space ratio, 86% for the number of times, and 100% for the material.
In the economic world, if the amendment to the law is passed, the management difficulties of SMEs will increase. Large corporations can afford to fit their products into the system at a high cost, but small and medium-sized enterprises are difficult to do so. One business official said, “Management of small and medium-sized enterprises that are suffering from Corona 19 will become more difficult.”
Reporter Kang Jin-kyu [email protected]