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The BDO register – all about obligations and penalties

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​by Joanna Lech

22. November 2022


What is the BDO register


An integral part of the Database of Products, Packaging and Waste Management is the BDO register, i.e. the list of entities that:
  • market products,
  • market packaged products,
  • run retail or wholesale units offering plastic shopping bags subject to the recycling fee referred to in the Packaging and Waste Packaging Management Act,
  • manage waste [1]. 

The register is kept electronically and entries are made upon application or ex officio by the provincial marshal. Entries upon application are made by the provincial marshal competent for the place of residence or registered office of the entity applying for the entry. 

Who is obliged to register


Obliged entities are listed in the Waste Act. 

The obligation to register upon application applies to entities:

1. listed in the Act on Enterprises' Obligations to Manage Certain Wastes and on Product Fee, that is:
  • marketers of products in Poland;
  • operators engaged in the recovery or recycling of product wastes;
  • recovery organisations;
  • exporters or intra-Community suppliers of product wastes for the purpose of their recovery or recycling;

2. listed in the Retired Vehicles Recycling Act, that is:
  • marketers of vehicles;
  • operators of vehicle collection points;
  • operators of dismantling stations;
  • shredder operators;

3. listed in the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Act, that is:
  • marketers of equipment or authorised dealers;
  • collectors of waste equipment;
  • operators of processing plants;
  • organisations recovering electrical and electronic equipment;
  • recycling operators;
  • operators engaged in recovery processes other than recycling;

4. listed in the Batteries and Accumulators Act, that is:
  • marketers of batteries and accumulators;
  • operators of waste battery or waste accumulator processing plants;
  • intermediaries;

5. listed in the Waste Act, that is:
  • waste holders processing waste and exempt from the obligation to obtain a waste processing permit, except for those listed in Article 45(1)(2) and (3);
  • waste transporters;
  • waste sellers and waste brokers, unless they must be entered in the register under items 1 and 3 or ex officio;
  • operators of ship recycling plants;
  • waste producers obliged to keep waste records, except for waste holders listed in Article 51(1)(1) and (2);

6. listed in the Packaging and Waste Packaging Management Act, that is:
  • self-governing industry and trade organisations listed in Article 25(1);
  • packaging recovery organisations;
  • intra-Community suppliers of:
a. packaging waste;
b. packaged products;
  • exporters of:
a. packaging waste;
b. packaging;
c. packaged products;
  • recyclers of packaging waste;
  • marketers of packaging;
  • marketers of packaged products;
  • enterprises running retail or wholesale units offering plastic shopping bags subject to the recycling fee;

7. listed in the Cleanliness and Order in Municipalities Act, that is:
  • civic amenity sites operated by the municipality on its own or jointly with (an)other municipality(ies);
  • entities entered in the register of regulated activity in the scope of collecting municipal waste from property owners.

Since the list of obliged entities is long, we recommend that you verify your business activities that may trigger the obligation to register, in particular the activities related to generating or marketing waste in the Polish market of:
– packaged products;
– packaging;
– electronic equipment;
– batteries and accumulators;
– products such as tyres, oils, lubricants, etc. 

Do foreign entities also have to register with BDO


Foreign entities, both those that have established a branch in Poland and those that do not have such a branch, may also be required to register with BDO. 

According to law and information on the website
“prior to commencing business activities described in Article 50(1) of the Waste Act, a foreign enterprise is required to apply for entry and be entered in the register which is an integral part of the Database of Products, Packaging and Waste Management”.

However, it may be problematic to establish whether a foreign entity commences or runs business activities in Poland as described in the Act. The situation of a foreign enterprise must be assessed on a case by case basis.  

When to register


 You must register before commencing business activities subject to registration. You may carry on business activities subject to registration provided that you have registered.

However, there are situations in which entities obliged to register still have not done so. If you run your business but have failed to register with BDO, you must urgently apply for entry.

Application for entry in the BDO register


You may apply for entry using an electronic form via the website.

Please also remember about updating your details contained in the BDO register. 

A registered entity must submit an update application within 30 days of a change in:
  • information contained in the register,
  • business activities that are subject to registration.

The application for updating the entry must be filed using an electronic update form via an individual account in the Database of Products, Packaging and Waste Management.

Penalties for failure to register with BDO


The consequences of breaching certain statutory obligations are set out in Section X of the Waste Act. 
Penalties for failure to register with BDO involve: 

1. fine and imprisonment, e.g. 
  • for managing waste contrary to information notified to the register [2a];
  • for failing to apply for entry in the register or for updating the entry in the register or for deleting the entry (deregistration), or for filing an application containing untrue information [2b]

2. an administrative fine of PLN 1,000 up to PLN 1 million, e.g. for carrying on business activities described in Article 50(1) without the required registration [2c]


Legal basis:
[1] Packaging and Waste Packaging Management Act of 13 June 2013, Article 40a
[2] Waste Act
[2a] Article 178
[2b] Article 179
[2c] Article 194(1)(5a)

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Joanna Lech

Attorney at law (Poland), Attorney at law (Poland)

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