EU gives Germany more time on pack deposits

European Commission decides in principle on court action, delays implementation for three months

The European Commission stepped up pressure on Germany on Wednesday over alleged barriers to trade caused by the country's deposit and return rules for one-way drinks packaging. However it stopped short of launching immediate court action, saying that it would start proceedings in three months unless Germany makes changes.

European packaging industry groups had urged the Commission to proceed to the European court of justice immediately. Rule changes approved by Germany's upper parliamentary house last week had done nothing to change the "disruptive deposit conditions", they argued. However the EU executive said it was delaying action because of "recent active attempts of the German authorities to meet [its] concerns."

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