The deposit system in Poland. Changes and collection of VAT in the light of the talks of the Ministry of Environmental Protection

Luc Williams

The deputy minister admits the need for changes to the bail law and announces a dialogue

Deputy Minister of Climate and Environment Anita Sowińska she admitted during a meeting with the media on Thursday that the deposit law “it needs to be repaired” and the ministry is “open to dialogue”. However, she emphasized that she could not agree with all the demands of the beverage and trade industries. At the same time, she emphasized that talks were ongoing with Ministry of Finance on the possible clarification of some provisions of the current act to make them “absolutely unambiguous”.

The representative of the ministry added that the proposed changes will include, among others: the so-called mechanism following the deposit with the product, i.e. collecting a deposit each time the product is sold. This is intended to solve several system problems pointed out by the industry. This solution is also intended to prevent possible abuses when settling the collected deposit.

“A very important postulate that we support is that the deposit must follow the packaging. We have already discussed such regulations with the Ministry of Finance. They are practically ready, we are ready to repair the system in this respect,” Sowińska said.

Scheduled delay in the deposit system for dairy products

In addition, the amendment is to include a provision postponing the inclusion of milk and milk drink bottles in the deposit system until the beginning of 2026. According to the proposed changes, local governments will be able to count the recycling of packaging from the deposit system as part of meeting the required collection levels in municipalities.

“We partially agree with the industry's demands to at least delay the implementation of the deposit system for milk and dairy product packaging. At the consultation meeting in early March, we proposed to delay it by a year, i.e. it would enter into force from 2026,” added the deputy minister. . However, she emphasized that she did not want the entry of dairy products into the system to be delayed even further or for them to be completely excluded from the system.

The approach of the Ministry of Finance to VAT in the deposit system

Sowińska also said that, according to the opinion of the Ministry of Finance, the current regulations already provide for this charging VAT on deposits for disposable packaging. In the case of reusable packaging, VAT will only apply if the packaging is not returned to the system. The ministry had previously indicated that it would discuss this matter with the Ministry of Finance in order to completely abandon adding VAT to the deposit.

“We have guidelines from the Ministry of Finance which recognize – and the industry knows it – that in the current form of the act, single-use packaging is not subject to VAT. However, in the case of reusable packaging, only broken bottles are subject to VAT. or lost,” explained the representative of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.

The Ministry responds to the appeal of entrepreneurs regarding the deposit system

The Ministry added that a response to the appeal of entrepreneurs and industry organizations has been prepared, which demands, among others: postponing the introduction of the entire deposit system by one year.

“Responding to the appeal addressed to Prime Minister Donald Tusk for the urgent implementation of the necessary changes in the regulations governing the deposit system for beverage packaging, as the Ministry of Climate and Environment, we would like to inform you that, like its signatories, we also see the need for changes. And exactly as representatives of the food industry postulate, we believe that this is an urgent matter,” it said.

The industry is calling for a postponement of the deadline for introducing the deposit system

On Tuesday, fourteen industry organizations bringing together beverage producers, trade and agriculture representatives published an appeal to Prime Minister Donald Tusk, demanding the implementation of urgent and necessary changes to the regulations governing the deposit system for beverage packaging and postponing the start of the system to January 1, 2026.

Description of the operation and objectives of the deposit system in Poland

According to the current regulations, the deposit system in Poland is to start operating from 2025. Its aim is to reduce the amount of mixed municipal waste collected by municipalities and increase the level of recycling. Large stores with an area of ​​over 200 square meters will have to collect empty packaging and return the deposit, while smaller ones will be able to join the system voluntarily, although they will collect a deposit. Unclaimed deposit will be used to finance the deposit system. The deposit is intended to encourage the return of packaging and increase the amount of reused and processed raw materials used to produce packaging.

List of packaging covered by the deposit system

The system is to cover three types of packaging: plastic bottles up to 3 liters, reusable glass bottles up to 1.5 liters and metal cans up to 1 liter. (PAP)


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