Industry Topics for Covered Electronic Waste Recycling Fee

Fee Application

How the Fee Is Imposed

The eWaste fee is due on the retail purchase or lease of a new or refurbished covered electronic device (CED) with a screen size of more than four inches measured diagonally and has been identified in the regulations adopted by the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC). Refurbished CEDs are devices the manufacturer has tested and returned to a condition that meets factory specifications for the device and have been repackaged and labeled as refurbished.

Currently, the CEDs identified in the regulations include any device listed below containing a screen (viewable screen size) greater than four inches measured diagonally:

  • Televisions
    • Cathode ray tube (CRT)
    • Liquid crystal display (LCD) (excluding LCD projection televisions)
    • Light-emitting diode (LED)
    • Plasma (excluding plasma projection televisions)
    • Organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screens (effective 7-1-22)
  • Desktop computer monitor
    • LCD/LED
    • OLED (effective 7-1-22)
  • Laptop computers
    • LCD/LED (includes tablets until 7-1-22)
    • OLED (effective 7-1-22)
  • LCD/LED or OLED containing tablets (effective 7-1-22)
  • Bare CRT or any other CRT device (includes computer monitors)
  • Portable DVD players with LCD/LED screens
  • LCD/LED Smart Displays (effective 7-1-22)

Manufacturers are required to tell retailers which of their products have been identified as CEDs. New products may be identified by the DTSC and added to the regulations after they have been tested. Any new CEDs identified by DTSC and added to the regulations will become subject to the fee effective July 1, of the following year. For more information, contact the manufacturer or DTSC.


DTSC does not classify smartphones with LCD screens greater than four inches as CEDs. Alternatively, cell phones, including smartphones with screen sizes greater than four inches, are subject to a statutorily mandated collection and recycling program pursuant to the Cell Phone Recycling Act of 2004 (Chapter 8.6 of Part 3 of Division 30 of the Public Resource Code).

CED Manufacturer Requirements

Manufacturer's Notification Letter

On or before April 1st of each year, manufacturers are required to send a notice to all retailers that sell CEDs manufactured by the manufacturer on or before December 31 of the prior year. The notice shall identify the electronic devices that are CEDs subject to the eWaste fee.

Manufacturer's Report

In addition to the required notification letter, a manufacturer's report is required to be filed with CalRecycle. This report is due on or before July 1st of each year.

For more information on the manufacturers notification letter requirements and the manufacturer's report, please see the CalRecycle website or publication Guidance for Manufacturer Reporting for the Electronic Waste Recycling Act.

Business Locations Outside of California

If you are required to have a California seller's permit or Certificate of Registration – Use Tax, you must register for an eWaste fee account and collect the fee when you sell CEDs to California customers. The CDTFA's online registration system will guide you through the process. See our online guide, Use Tax Collection Requirements Based on Sales into CA Due to the Wayfair Decision, for more information on whether you may be required to register for sales and use tax purposes.

If you are not required to register for an eWaste fee account, you may voluntarily register to collect and pay the fee as a courtesy to your California customers. Upon collecting the fee, you must provide the customer with an invoice or similar document that lists the fee as a separate charge. A copy of the invoice or similar document should be retained by both the seller and customer.

If the out-of-state seller does not have an eWaste fee account, the California customer must pay the fee directly to the CDTFA.

Customer Invoices

The law requires the retailer to separately state the electronic waste recycling fee on the customer's receipt. The CDTFA does not prescribe any particular format for the invoice, but you must be able to determine if the correct amount was collected and remitted on the number of CEDs sold. Either the CalRecycle or DTSC could later adopt a regulation prescribing the look of the invoice or receipt.

If a customer purchases a number of CEDs on one invoice, you may want to group the products and fees by fee category on your invoice. If you do this, you can list one fee total for each fee category. You can use this method or list each CED and fee amount separately.

As a retailer, you can opt to pay the fee on your customers behalf, but you must note that you have done so on the customer's receipt. The entire fee is due with your fee return. When a retailer pays the fee and indicates that on the receipt, the customer has no liability for the fee.

Application of Sales and Use Tax to eWaste Fee

Do not include the eWaste fee amount in your sales or use tax calculation. However, you must list the amount of the fee on your customer invoice.

Application of Fee for Specific Transactions

Lay-Away Sales

A lay-away is generally a contract to sell at a future date and the eWaste fee would not apply until the full purchase price is paid and the sale is complete.

Internet Sales

Internet sales are treated just like sales from bricks-and-mortar stores or sales by mail or phone. If you sell a CED to a California consumer and your business is in California, or you are required to hold a California seller's permit or are registered, or should be registered, to collect California use tax, you owe the fee. If you are not required to collect the fee, your customer owes it.

Drop Shipments on Behalf of Out of State Companies to California Consumers

If a California retailer is instructed by an out of state retailer to ship a CED directly to a California consumer, the California retailer/drop shipper is obligated to collect the fee. See the definition of retail sale for the purpose of the Sales and Use Tax Law, or for additional information on drop shipments, view Sales and Use Tax Regulation 1706

Configure-to-Order Sales Made Through a Retailer but Shipped by the Manufacturer

A consumer who buys a CED in a retail sale or a transaction subject to use tax owes the fee. The retailer is required to collect the fee and remit it to the CDTFA.

CEDs Removed from Inventory

If you pull a CED from your display stock or inventory and use or donate it, you are considered the consumer. You must report the fee on your return.

Sales or Leases to the Federal Government

Retailers are required to collect the fee on retail purchases or leases by the Federal government. Transactions with the Federal Government are not exempt from the eWaste fee unless otherwise exempt.

CEDs Replaced Under Warranty

Whether a CED is subject to the eWaste fee depends on the type of warranty. In general, the replacement CED does not constitute a retail sale.

Under a factory (mandatory) warranty, no fee would be due if a new or refurbished replacement CED was provided, unless the customer upgrades the CED.

Under an optional warranty, the repairer is considered the consumer of the CED. The repairer should pay the fee on any new or refurbished replacement CEDs provided, either at the time of purchase or by reporting these CEDs as self-consumed on line 2 of their CDTFA-501-ER, Electronic Waste Recycling Fee Return.

Bad Debts

There are no exemptions or credits to be claimed for bad debts related to the eWaste fee.


Leases to California Companies

If a lease is a “continuing sale or purchase,” you must collect the fee from the lessee with the first lease payment.

Lease Renewals

Lease renewals are not subject to the eWaste fee, unless a new or refurbished CED is provided at the time of renewal.

Leasing with Option to Buy at the End of Lease

The customer is purchasing a used CED. The fee does not apply to the sale of used CEDs.

Fee Option for Retailers that Lease CEDs

Under specific conditions, a retailer who leases CEDs to consumers may choose to pay the eWaste fee to the vendor of those CEDs instead of collecting the fee from the consumers/lessees. A vendor is defined as the person making a sale of a covered electronic device (CED) for purposes of resale to a retailer who is the lessor of the CED to a consumer under a lease that is a continuing sale or purchase.

For a retailer to elect to pay on behalf of a consumer, all of the following conditions must be met:

  • The vendor must be registered with the CDTFA to collect and remit the fee
  • The vendor must hold a valid seller's permit for sales and use tax purposes
  • The lessor/retailer must pay the fee to the vendor and the fee must be separately stated on the vendor's invoice to the retailer
  • The retailer provides an express statement on the invoice, contract, or other record given to the lessee/consumer to document the lease/rental, that the fee has been paid on behalf of the lessee/consumer.

If all the above conditions are met, the eWaste fee is a debt owed by the vendor and the retailer is not liable for the fee.

Transactions Not Subject to the Fee


The fee does not apply to the sale of a video display device that is any of the following:

  • Used and not refurbished.
  • Part of a motor vehicle, as defined in Vehicle Code section 415, or a component part of a motor vehicle assembled by or for a vehicle manufacturer or franchised dealer. This includes replacement parts for use in a motor vehicle.
  • Contained within, or a part of a piece of industrial, commercial, or medical equipment, including monitoring or control equipment.
  • Contained within a clothes washer, clothes dryer, refrigerator, refrigerator and freezer, microwave oven, conventional oven or range, dishwasher, room air conditioner, dehumidifier, or air purifier.
  • Sold for resale.
  • Shipped by you to a location outside of California.
  • A cell phone, including smartphone with screen size greater than four inches.
  • An eReader/eBook or eInk.
  • Projection televisions (LCD or plasma only)

You must maintain records to document any sale not subject to the fee.   View our webpage, publication 103 Sales for Resale, for information on sales for resale. View our webpage, publication 101 Sales Delivered Outside California, for information on sales of products shipped directly to locations outside California.


When to file a claim for refund

Your filing deadline is the latest of the following dates:

  • Three years after the due date of the return on which you overpaid the eWaste fee
  • Six months after you overpaid the eWaste fee
  • Six months after the date a determination (billing) became final
  • Three years after the CDTFA collected an involuntary payment, such as from a levy or lien

Be sure to file your claim for refund by the applicable deadline. If you don't file on time, CDTFA cannot consider your claim, even if you overpaid the eWaste fee. If you have questions about your deadline to file a refund claim, contact our Customer Service Center at 1-800-400-7115 (CRS:711), Monday through Friday, from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Pacific time), except state holidays.

Returns and Customer Refunds

If a customer returns a Covered Electronic Device (CED) for which you collected the eWaste fee and you provided a full refund on the entire amount paid for the CED, you should also refund the eWaste fee.

You may claim a credit on your Electronic Waste Recycling Fee Return for fees you refunded to customers if you have reported and paid the fee on a previous return, and if you gave the refund during the reporting period for which you are claiming the credit.

How to file a claim for refund

If you have overpaid the eWaste fee directly to the CDTFA, you can file a claim for refund online by logging in to our online service system using your User ID and Password. Go to your eWaste fee account, and then select More under the I want to… section.

You may also file a claim by using form CDTFA-101, Claim for Refund or Credit or by filing an amended return(s) stating the specific reason(s) for the overpayment. Claims for refund should specify the period for which you are making the claim and the amount of the refund. Additional refund details are on the CDTFA's refund page. You may mail your claims to:

California Department of Tax and Fee Administration
Special Taxes and Fees
Appeals and Data Analysis Branch (MIC: 33)
P.O. Box 942879
Sacramento, CA 94279-0033

Fee Collected on non CED

If you believe you were charged an eWaste fee on a device that is not considered a CED, you may e-mail us or call us at 1-800-400-7115 (CRS:711).

Record Keeping

Records must be retained for at least four years from the time the eWaste fee is due unless the CDTFA authorizes you in writing to destroy them sooner.

Recycling CEDs

Proof of Fee Paid Upon Disposal

Proof that the eWaste fee was paid upon purchase of a CED does not need to be provided upon disposal. The disposal of a CED is a separate transaction from the purchase of a CED. The disposal facility may or may not charge the consumer a fee to dispose a CED, but either way, it will not be dependent upon a consumer having first paid an Electronic Waste Recycling Fee at the time they purchased the CED.

“Cost Free Opportunities” to Dispose of CEDs

The eWaste law states that consumers will be provided with “cost free opportunities” to dispose their computers, monitors, and TVs. However, the CDTFA does not administer this portion of the law. Please contact the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) with your inquiry. They are responsible for administering the recycling programs. Contact information for the CalRecycle is listed below.

Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle)
1001 I Street
P.O. Box 4025
Sacramento, CA 95812-4025