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Triman Logo and Sorting Instructions in France

Triman Logo and Sorting Instructions in France

A regulation recently introduced in France means that businesses exporting to the country will now have to include sorting instructions on all packaging to accompany the Triman logo. Here we share an overview of the rules to help businesses prepare.

Recycling landfill

What is the Regulation?

From 1st January 2022, signage obligations (as specified in the French Decree No. 2021-835) came into force, with a transitional period running until September 2022 to ensure existing packaging can become compliant. An additional period until March 2023 has now been granted for packaging produced before 9th September 2022.

Previously, only the Triman logo was mandatory, but from 1st January it must be accompanied by sorting instructions. Once the relevant enforcement dates are introduced, any packaging not using the new Triman logo and sorting instructions will no longer be allowed on the French market.

Why the Need for Sorting Instructions?

The legislation aims to provide a consistent logo across all packaging and to make it even easier for consumers to understand how they should be sorting their products in-line with French packaging waste take-back and recycling schemes.

On Which Products Does It Apply?

All types of household packaging must bear the Triman logo and sorting instructions, including textiles and shoes, furniture, tyres, paper products, electrical appliances, and batteries – whether they are recyclable or not.

Article L541-10-1 of the French Code of Environment states that packaging used for commercial purposes and consumed or used by households, including those consumed out of the home, should also be included.

From 1st January 2025, this will also incorporate packaging consumed or used by professionals, except those consumed or used by professionals in the catering industry (which will be covered from 1st January 2023).

What Do Businesses Need to Do?

Businesses must ensure all packaging bears the Triman logo and accompanying sorting instructions unless exemptions apply.

In France, the environment law states that “Signs and markings which may lead to confusion on the rule for sorting or adding waste from the product are subject to a penalty”. They are defined in the article 1 of the French Order of 30th November 2020 as “graphic figures representing two or more arrows rolled up and written in a circle”. Although this formulation does not designate it, we understand that it targets the Green Dot. However, this prohibition has been suspended by the French Conseil d’État, whom should confirm or cancel it this year (2022). The article 1 of the French Order of 30th November 2020 also lists exempted signs and markings, not considered as confusing, that can show.

As per French decree No 2021-835 of 29th June 2021, the mutual recognition principle applies. Another common marking regulated by the European Union or another Member State of the European Union can be used in France instead of Triman logo and sorting instructions as long as this other marking informs the consumer that the products concerned are subject to sorting rules and is mandatory.

Sorting Information

Information about sorting must accompany the Triman logo on pack (unless exempt, as below) and can be displayed in text, symbols, or both. Regardless of whether the sorting information is displayed on-pack or electronically, the sorting advice must be in legible French.

Exemptions

Exemptions to including both the logo and instructions are in place for small packaging with a surface area (the longest edge) of less than 10cm2 – in which case neither the Triman logo nor the sorting instructions are required on pack. These must, however, be provided in electronic format.

Packaging with a surface area (of the longest edge) between 10cm2 and 20cm2 requires only the Triman logo to be displayed on-pack. Sorting information must then be included in electronic format.

Article 17 of the French AGEC Law states that glass packaging for beverages is exempt from the obligation to add a sorting label. The Triman logo and Sorting Info are therefore added on glass beverage bottles on a voluntary basis.

What are the Penalties of Non-Compliance?

The Decree No. 2014/1577 itself does not state any penalties for not using the Triman logo. However, according to the applicable environment law in France (Art. L171-8 & L173-1), a warning can be issued by the responsible authorities. Thereafter, continuous non-compliance can result in financial penalties of up to 100,000 € or up to 2 years in prison.

What Next?

To avoid potentially costly redesigns of packaging and printing, and to minimise the risk of potential action from French authorities, we recommend factoring labelling compliance into the exporting journey by doing your research, understanding France’s specific rules and regulations, and seeking advice and guidance from food labelling consultants.

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Caitlin Stewart, Marketing Manager

My background in Food Science and Marketing means I have a unique combination of commercial creativity and technical food manufacturing experience. My ambition is to bring clarity to the complex world of compliance through the simple and eye-catching communication of Ashbury's services.

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