Russia 2021: The current status of EPR regulations
by Jennifer Brook at 10:23 in Battery, Emerging, Environmental, Packaging, WEEE
Extended producer responsibility (EPR) in Russia is governed by two main bodies: the Russian government and the Eurasian Economic Union, or EAEU. Member States of the EAEU include Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan, and regulations made by this body affect all affiliated countries. The main EPR system in Russia is set by the Russian government, but other producer-related regulations, such as labelling requirements, have been set by a union within the EAEU, the Eurasian Customs Union.
Under Russia's current EPR program, producers must either manage their own recycling and waste, or report their waste directly to the government. Producers must report on particular waste categories, including cardboard, plastic packaging, household electronic equipment and batteries. They must also pay environmental fees on this waste if they have not met established collection targets. Russia does not use a producer responsibility organisation (PRO) system like other European countries.
Russia must also adhere to the Technical Regulations from the Customs Union, which were last updated in 2021. The regulations set out labelling requirements and design guidelines for packaging. These include lists of required supporting documents for packaging labelling, examples of required symbols on packaging (the Mobius Loop and a symbol for food-contact material) and new definitions for biodegradable packaging, among many other regulations.
But the tide could soon be changing in Russia. In March 2021, the Russian government released a draft EPR Roadmap, with deadlines for creating EPR systems with PROs, more similar to European models. This could mean an increase in environmental fees for producers. While the draft bill appears to have stalled this year, there is still a proposed single-use plastic ban announced by Russian officials, and we expect more changes to the Russian EPR system in the next few years.
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