Industry is concerned about the Commission's narrow interpretation of the concept of ‘placing on the market' of single-use plastics

On 14 April 2021, 20 European industry associations issued a joined statement expressing concerns about the interpretation provided by the European Commission’s services of the concept of ‘placing on the market’ in the context of the implementation of the harmonised marking requirements under the Single-Use Plastics Directive and the Implementing Regulation, and its impact on the existing stocks and the integrity of the Single Market.

According to this narrow interpretation of the definitions of ‘placing on the market’ and ‘making available on the market’, which are set out in Article 3 of the SUP Directive, existing stocks without the relevant marking would only be compliant if the products remain in the same Member State where they were already placed on the market prior to 3 July 2021.
This interpretation would result in a prohibition of making available those products for final distribution to another Member State after that date. Furthermore, the potential destruction of the existing unmarked stocks placed on the Union market before 3 July 2021, as the result of disproportionate limits on their distribution throughout the EU, would lead to an unacceptable waste of resources and a significant negative environmental outcome.

The associations ask that the situation is clarified by confirming that, once a product is placed on the Union market, a further making available on the market of another Member State cannot constitute a new "placing on the market” and that products manufactured and placed on the Union market before 3 July 2021 without the harmonised marking specifications are still compliant and can continue to be sold throughout the EU.