Drinks suppliers are an integral part of Return and Earn. Suppliers of eligible drink containers in NSW make a financial contribution to Return and Earn, in proportion to their market share in the state.

Changing the way suppliers pay into the NSW Container Deposit Scheme

Following extensive consultation with the beverage industry a new and simplified approach to the NSW Container Deposit Scheme (CDS) supplier contributions will be implemented in early 2020 that will make it easier for the beverage industry, and in particular small suppliers, to do business in NSW.

The new approach has been developed by the Department of Planning, Industry & Environment (the Department) and scheme coordinator Exchange for Change (EFC) and has been specifically designed to remove price volatility, simplify invoices and reduce complexity.

Visit the Exchange for Change website for full details.

Attention: Deadline for container compliance

From 1 December 2019,  Suppliers and Retailers must comply with the Container Deposit Scheme legislation for labelling, barcodes and prohibited lids. A two-year transition period for drinks containers to meet requirements for labelling, barcodes and can lid design was put in place when the Return and Earn scheme started on 1 December, 2017. That transition period will end on 1 December, 2019 and now is the time for all suppliers and retailers to ensure that changes to your containers, labels and barcodes are made in time to comply with the law.

All eligible containers must:

  •  show the NSW refund marking “10c refund at collection depots/points in participating State/Territory of purchase”;
  •  have the correct, GS1 Standard barcode; and
  •  for cans, must NOT have a removable ring-pull mechanism opening (360 end cans)

Please go to the NSW Environment Protection Authority’s dedicated page to check your obligations and the steps you will need to take to be ready.

The NSW EPA has also prepared Fact Sheets that set out the obligations of Suppliers and Retailers.

From 1 December 2019, the NSW EPA will take active compliance measures and penalties may apply for non-compliance with the law.




If you are a Supplier according to the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Act 2001 (NSW) you have a legal obligation to participate in the NSW Government’s container deposit scheme called Return and Earn. This includes entering into a Supply Arrangement contract with Return and Earn’s Scheme Coordinator, Exchange for Change.

Steps to becoming a supplier

If you’re new to Return and Earn you’ll need to complete the following steps:

  1. Check (.pdf, 117kb) whether you qualify as a drinks supplier under the Return and Earn supplier guidelines;
  2. Sign-up to become a Return and Earn supplier;
  3. Register your drinks containers.

Sign-up form

Use the forms below to sign-up as a Return and Earn supplier.

Supplier sign-up

2019 Supplier Annual Statutory Declaration

Please download the printable blank version of the Supplier Annual Statutory Declaration  (.pdf 90kb).

Once the Statutory Declaration is signed and witnessed, please scan and email to portalsupport@exchangeforchange.com.au.

For help to complete the form, please read detailed instructions to fill form (.pdf 154kb).

Helpful resources

Supplier Agreements

You’ll find the following documents and links handy when registering to be a supplier:

Set out below are links to the Supply Arrangement, Supplier Side Deed, and Accession Deed Poll, which all Suppliers need to sign. These are for your review purposes only, as the versions you will sign will be signed electronically in accordance with these instructions. In addition, below are links to the Scheme Payments and Contribution Methodology and the Common Dispute Deed, which are referenced in the arrangements.

Newsletters-related documents

The following are helpful documents that set out to explain the pricing and invoicing in newsletters.

Important Links

Return point side deed (pdf, 342kb)

Register your containers

Supplier portal




Changes to NSW CDS Export Protocol Rules for Cruise Ships from 1 September 2019

Following extensive consultation with suppliers and exporters, industry, and cruise ship operators, the existing Export Rules for Cruise Ships under the NSW Container Deposit Scheme (CDS) are changing.

Effective from 1 September 2019, the Export Protocol Rules to claim exports from NSW via Cruise ships (.pdf, 173KB) now deems the exporter as the owner of the containers prior to export. For example, the provision of a container to a cruise ship operator for loading onto a vessel which is leaving NSW is the act of export.

This change enables the distributors or suppliers of eligible CDS container beverages to cruise ships to be the exporter and eligible for the CDS rebates.

Timeline for historical export claims

Suppliers are able to make a historical export claim from 1 September 2019 under the new rules.

If you are already registered as an exporter with EFC and would like to make a historical claim, please email exporters@exchangeforchange.com.au with details of your claim including any supporting evidence such as your Customs Export Declaration.

Any suppliers wanting to register as an exporter in order to start claiming under the new rules will need to register online. Once registered, EFC will send you an Exporter Deed Poll (.pdf, 145kb) to sign and details for how to claim.

Any historical export claims from 1 September 2019 must be entered by 15 February 2019 to be eligible.

For more information or assistance with making a historical claim or registering as an exporter, please contact Exchange for Change on 1800 813 887 or email exporters@exchangeforchange.com.au.

Export Process

Exporting businesses can now claim a rebate for containers that are eligible for the NSW Container Deposit Scheme, purchased in NSW and exported outside NSW to be sold in other states or overseas.

Exporters can only claim the rebate for containers that are already part of the NSW Container Deposit Scheme. To do this, businesses need to enter into an export arrangement with the Scheme Coordinator, Exchange for Change, by:

  • Reading the fact-sheet (.pdf, 167KB) that summarises the steps required to claim the rebate on eligible drink containers exported out of NSW;
  • Registering as an exporter by completing the sign-up form;
  • Signing an Exporter Deed Poll (.pdf, 145KB) and adhering to the guidance set out in the Container Export Protocol (.pdf, 411KB).

For more information about the Export Process you can phone Exchange for Change on 1800 290 691 or email exporters@exchangeforchange.com.au.

Sign-up form

Use the forms below to sign-up as a Return and Earn exporter.

Exporter sign-up

Rules to claim exports from NSW via Airline or Cruise ships

Airline and cruise ship industries can claim refunds on beverage containers through the Scheme based on the rules outlined in this section:

2019 Exporter Annual Statutory Declaration

Please download the printable blank version of the Exporter Annual Statutory Declaration (pdf, 123kb).

Once the Statutory Declaration is signed and witnessed, please scan and email to portalsupport@exchangeforchange.com.au.

Get in contact

If you have any questions or need our help, please call us on 1800 813 887 between 9am and 5pm (EST), Monday to Friday or send us an email.



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2018 Newsletters

Drinks suppliers FAQs

  • Am I considered a supplier?

    A supplier is any business selling beverages in containers in NSW, or giving them away as part of a promotion. This includes manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers and retailers.

    If the business is considered a ‘First Supplier’ it must register the containers and enter a supply agreement with the Scheme Coordinator, Exchange for Change. You’ll find detailed information on whether you as a manufacturer, distributor, wholesaler or retailer are considered a First Supplier, including examples in this information sheet.

  • What steps do I need to take?

    This is a three-step process:

    1. Check whether you qualify as a drinks supplier under the Return and Earn supplier guidelines;
    2. Sign-up to become a supplier with Exchange for Change;
    3. Finally, register your containers with the Environment Protection Agency (EPA).
  • How much will it cost me?

    Every month, each supplier will be invoiced for their share of costs based on their market share. This is calculated by the number of containers supplied in each category of manufacturing materials.

    You can view an estimate of costs from Exchange for Change in this document.

    There is also an $13.70 application fee for registering your class of containers with the EPA. To assist small suppliers that produce small runs of multiple product lines, there is a cap on this registration fee. For more information visit the

  • What is a “Supply Arrangement”?

    The Supply Arrangement is a contract between each entity that is a Supplier (as defined under the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Act 2001 (NSW)) and the Scheme Coordinator. It also consists of two ancillary documents which each such entity is also required to enter into, the Supplier Side Deed and the Accession Deed Poll. The terms of each of these documents have been approved by the State.

  • Why do I need to enter into a Supply Arrangement?

    Under the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Act 2001 (NSW), a Supplier must not supply or offer to supply a beverage in a container to any person unless (among other things) a supply arrangement is in force between the Supplier and the Scheme Coordinator in respect of those containers.

  • I have a question about a particular clause or provision.

    Suppliers should seek their own independent legal advice in relation to the terms of the Supply Arrangement, Supplier Side Deed and/or Accession Deed Poll. Neither the Scheme Coordinator nor the State will be able to provide advice to you in relation to these documents.

  • Can I request changes to the terms of the Supply Arrangement, Supplier Side Deed or Accession Deed Poll?

    No. The pro-forma copies of these documents have been approved by the State and are identical for all Suppliers. You will not be able to negotiate departures to the terms of these documents.

  • What if information submitted to the Scheme Coordinator changes in future (e.g. contact details for notices or Container Approvals)?

    Please notify the Scheme Coordinator by emailing info@exchangeforchange.com.au so that the Scheme Coordinator can update its records.

  • Is electronic execution binding on me, the Scheme Coordinator and the State?

    Yes. Execution under the DocuSign platform is binding on all parties as though the documents were physically signed in person. The electronic copy you receive will, when printed, be considered an original copy of the relevant deed or deed poll.