Latvia will introduce mandatory deposit for beverage packaging from 2022

Latvian Packaging Law was amended in October 24, 2019 and the mandatory deposit on the beverage packaging will be applicable from  February 1, 2022.

The Deposit Return System (DRS) operator will be selected and appointed for 7 years; the law defines only one operator, which will be registered as a public service provider. The applicant must submit the activities plan, financial guarantees and industry fee calculations; further criteria and process for the DRS operator selection will be defined by the Government Order. The deadline of the application is September 30, 2020. There is a legal procedure for several applicants, if no one applies and the procedure for the disputes.
The deposit products and packages will be defined by the Government Order. Currently, the plan is to introduce deposit for soft drinks, beer, cider, alcopops sold in Plastic (0,3-3l), Glass (0,1-3l) and Metal packages (0,2-1l). The Latvian parliament took in December 19, 2019 a decision which obliges the Government to analyze opportunities to widen the list of the deposit products and packages (juice, milk, detergents). The Government must present the findings by October 1, 2020.
The deposit fee will be defined by the Government Order. The Ministry is proposing 10 cents for all packages.
Sellers of beverages in the deposit packages must take back the packages in or near their premises (max. 150 m) if their sales place is at least 300 m2 in the cities or 60m2 in the countryside. Local government may re-define the obligation in certain cases.
The DRS operator must pay to the seller who takes-back deposit packages compensation (handling fee). The handling fee calculation methodology will be defined by the Government Order.
The deposit packaging users (producers and importers of beverages) must pay to the DRS Operator industry fees, which must be calculated by the methodology defined in the Public Utilities Law (section tariff setting).