These are the 15 changes to life in Germany coming in 2022 – Expensive postage, plastic bag ban and the e-prescription …


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Plastic bags will be banned, the Post will increase postage and it should be easier to terminate contracts on the Internet – in 2022 consumers in Germany will be faced with many innovations.

Changes to life in Germany in 2022: What will be cheaper, what will be more expensive, what will change completely? Below is an overview of of the changes you can expect in the new year.

1. Ban on plastic bags


From January 1st, it will no longer be possible to sell plastic shopping bags at German tills. It’s about the so-called light plastic carrier bags with a wall thickness between 15 and 50 micrometers – these are the standard bags that you get when you go shopping. Exceptions are particularly stable reusable bags and the thin plastic bags that can be found at the fruit and vegetable stand, for example. This is intended to reduce the use of plastic in everyday life.

2. Postage becomes more expensive


In view of rising wages and costs, Deutsche Post is planning higher postage fees on January 1st. For a standard letter, 85 cents instead of the previous 80 cents and for a postcard 70 cents instead of 60 cents.

3. No last minute tickets on the train


From January 1st, last- minute travelers can no longer buy paper tickets on the train from the conductors of Deutsche Bahn . The alternative: a digital ticket that can be booked up to ten minutes after departure on or via the app.

4. CO2 tax increases


The CO2 tax will also rise in 2022 to make climate protection more attractive. Instead of 25 cents per ton of carbon dioxide emitted, 30 cents are due. Among other things, this has an effect on fuel prices – albeit not as strongly as at the beginning of 2021. According to calculations by the ADAC , gasoline and diesel prices are now likely to increase by around one and a half cents each due to the CO2 tax.

5. EEG surcharge falls


The surcharge for financing green electricity (EEG surcharge) drops to 3.723 cents per kilowatt hour at the turn of the year and thus by more than 40 percent. Electricity is unlikely to be cheaper, however , because the levy is only part of the price and utilities pay more when shopping than they did a year ago.

6. Chimneys have to get higher


Chimneys will have to be built higher in the future in order to reduce the pollution of the air in the immediate vicinity. The aim is to reduce the exposure to harmful substances in the vicinity of systems such as pellet heating systems, tiled stoves and chimneys. The ordinance comes into force on January 1st.

7. Plug-in hybrids may soon no longer be promoted


Buyers of certain cars that have an electric motor as well as an internal combustion engine and are charged via a power cable (plug-in hybrids) could no longer benefit from the state subsidy from 2022. Because the prescribed electric range increases from 40 to 60 kilometers.

8. E-prescription is introduced


As of January 1st, the electronic prescription will be mandatory for medical practices. Those with statutory health insurance will then receive a QR code either on their smartphone or printed out. However, the obligation only exists for practices that are technically capable of doing so. So for some it could take a little longer.

9. Electronic sick leave


As of January 1st, electronic incapacity for work certificates will be mandatory for medical practices. With the eAU (Elektronische Arbeitsunfähigkeitsbescheinigung), the sick notes are electronically transmitted to the health insurance companies. From July onwards, employers will also be involved.

10. The termination button is mandatory


Anyone who concludes a contract on the Internet will be able to terminate it more easily in the future. As of July 1st, so-called long-term obligations are subject to a cancellation button, which consumers can use to get rid of their contracts without having to search and write letters.

11. Guaranteed extension of warranty


Anyone who buys a product that later turns out to be defective may have better cards from 2022. This is made possible by the extension of the warranty law: the legal presumption that a defect already existed at the time of purchase is extended from six months to one year.

12. Corona bonus expires soon


Until March 31, employees can receive a corona bonus of a maximum of 1,500 euros from their employer – tax-free. One of the prerequisites is that the money is used to alleviate the additional burden caused by the Corona crisis and that it is paid in addition to wages.

13. Increase in the child allowance


The child allowance, a benefit in addition to child benefit for families with low incomes, will be increased slightly. It increases from 205 euros by 4 euros to up to 209 euros per month per child. According to the Ministry of Family Affairs, this only applies if a short-term increase in child benefit is not decided on January 1st. Until the end of 2022, families with low incomes also have the option of applying for a “Corona break” , a discounted vacation in charitable holiday resorts across Germany.

14. It will be easier to get rid of old electrical appliances


The disposal of electronic waste will soon be much easier: Depending on the size of the shop and the range, discounters and supermarkets will have to accept old electronic devices such as electric toothbrushes or cell phones in the future. Shops, for example, must also accept small devices such as disused pocket calculators or an old razor if they were bought elsewhere. However, larger devices such as old televisions can only be handed in if a new device is purchased. Online retailers also have to take back and recycle electronic waste free of charge and in an uncomplicated manner.

15. Compulsory deposit for plastic bottles and beverage cans is being expanded


As of January 1st, the compulsory deposit for drinks in plastic bottles will be extended. If fruit and vegetable juices were previously exempt from the one-way deposit of 25 cents, this will also apply to them in the future. Beverage cans are also subject to a deposit without exception.

Expaturm aims to help educate Expats in Germany on key issues that they will have to deal with while living in Germany by providing everything you need to know about Banking, Healthcare, Lifestyle, and Housing in Germany


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