Under Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), an environmental policy designed to reduce waste and encourage recycling, they have to register and pay a fee.
The rules apply to all consumer packaged goods and are designed to target items that customers buy frequently online.
Although the laws were first introduced more than three years ago, updated revisions have recently been made and from this month many more sellers are affected.
Antiquarian book dealers in particular have found the new laws impact their trade. Sellers on platforms including AbeBooks and Amazon must register and pay fees before being able to sell to Germany and France.
Daniel Crouch of Crouch Rare Books, a spokesman for The Antiquarian Bookseller’s Association (ABA), said: “The ABA recognises the importance of waste management and reducing single-use packaging as tools to combat climate change; we also appreciate the efforts the French and German governments are making in this regard.
“It is, however, a shame, and surely not what was intended, that independent booksellers have to bear additional financial burdens when we are already struggling under the costs of Brexit.
“The advice is simple: anyone wishing to sell to Germany via Abe, Amazon etc will need to register with [packing register] Lucid. It’s relatively easy to do and takes five minutes.”
The changes have been introduced on a country-by-country basis so each company has to register for each country separately, not through the EU.
For instance, Germany started the Lucid register in January 2019 and in France the changes have been made by the Ministry for Ecological Transition (MoET).