Electronic Waste Recycling (eWaste) Fee Information for Retailers on the Fee Program, Collection, and Rates – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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The Electronic Waste Recycling (eWaste) Fee is a fee imposed on the retail sale or lease of certain electronic products that have been identified by the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) as covered electronic devices (CEDs). Products covered by the fee include a variety of video display devices. Generally, to remit the fee, a retailer of CEDs must register with the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA). A retailer may retain three percent of the eWaste fee it collects as reimbursement for costs associated with the collection of the fee.

The fee was established to help pay for the safe recycling of video display devices such as computer monitors and televisions, which contain hazardous materials. Revenues from the fee are used to safely recycle the types of products covered by the fee. For more information on the recycling of electronic products and the use of the fee revenue, please visit CalRecycle's website.

The fee is based upon the viewable size of the video display, measured diagonally. See the Special Taxes and Fees tax rates to view the rate. You must itemize the fee amount on the purchaser's receipt and identify it as the electronic waste recycling fee or eWaste recycling fee.


Effective January 1, 2005, the fee is due on the retail sale or lease of a new or refurbished CED that has a screen size of more than four inches measured diagonally and that has been identified in the regulations adopted by the DTSC. Currently, the CEDs indentified in the regulations include:

  • Televisions that contain cathode ray tubes.
  • Computer monitors that contain cathode ray tubes or use liquid crystal displays (LCD).
  • Laptop computers with LCD screens.
  • Bare cathode ray tubes or any other product that contains a cathode ray tube.
  • Televisions containing LCD screens, which includes any device containing an LCD screen greater than four inches measured diagonally (viewable size), that has television tuner capability and can process a broadcast, cable, or satellite transmitted television signal.
  • Plasma televisions.
  • Portable DVD Players with LCD screens.

*Refurbished items are products the manufacturer has tested and returned to a condition that meets factory specifications and have been repackaged and labeled as refurbished.

See the general definition in response to the previous question above. Manufacturers are required to let retailers know 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 in which the new CEDs were added to the regulations. For more information, contact the manufacturer or DTSC.

Yes. 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.
  • Is 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.
  • A sale for resale.
  • Shipped by you to a location outside of California.

You must maintain records to document any exempt sale, just like you do when you make a sale that is exempt from sales tax. See Publication 103, Sales for Resale for help with information on sales for resale. See Publication 101, Sales Delivered Outside California, for information on sales of products shipped directly to locations outside California.

Yes. The DTSC has determined that tablet video display devices with LCD screens, such as Apple iPad and Amazon Kindle Fire, are CEDs under the Liquid crystal display (LCD)-containing laptop computer regulatory category and, therefore, subject to the eWaste fee.

Alternatively, the DTSC has determined that tablets with electronic ink (e-Ink) display are not CEDs.

No. The 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 2004 Cell Phone Recycling Act, Chapter 8.6 of Part 3 of Division 30 of the Public Resources Code.

No. Currently, a device containing OLED is not a listed CED.