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June 30, 2014
Amendments to CRT Export Regs

Responding to concerns about how used computers and parts of used computers exported from the United States are handled in developing countries, the EPA has amended its 2006 cathode-ray tube (CRT) rule to require that exporters report more information to the Agency about their shipments and also to clarify precisely which entities are exporters in the often multiparty process of shipping used computers around the globe.

The 2006 CRT rule was written to expedite the reuse and recycling of used CRTs to divert potentially millions of tons of these materials from disposal and landfilling.  Provided certain conditions are met (e.g., packaging and labeling requirements for broken CRTs and no speculative accumulation), these materials are excluded from the definition of hazardous waste when reused and recycled even if shipments contain lead and other heavy metals.

The rule also clarified EPA’s position that computers used by one person are not wastes when taken out of service and used by the next owner for its intended purpose.  The rule further clarified that computers taken out of service to be repaired before resale and distribution are not being reclaimed; rather, these computers are considered products and not solid waste.

Export notification

The 2006 rule also contained several provisions for exporting used and broken CRTs and CRTs exported for recycling.  Mainly, the exporter was required to notify the EPA 60 days before the initial shipment occurs and also provide information about the exporter, the recycler, the manner of recycling, the means of transport, the total quantity of CRTs to be shipped, and all the countries the shipment would pass through.  Upon receiving this information, the EPA forwards it to the receiving country.  Only after the receiving country consents to receive the CRTs does the Agency provide the exporter with an approval to export.

Annual reports

The current action adds the following amendments to the CRT regulations:

  • A definition of CRT exporter to eliminate potential confusion over who is responsible for meeting the CRT export notice requirement.  Specifically, a CRT exporter is “any person in the United States who initiates a transaction to send used CRTs outside the United States or its territories for recycling or reuse, or any intermediary in the United States arranging for such export.”
  • A requirement that the exporter submit annual reports for used CRTs exported for recycling.  The report must be submitted no later than March 1 of each year.  The report must summarize the quantities, frequency of shipment, and ultimate destination(s) (i.e.,the facility or facilities where the recycling occurs) of all used CRTs exported for recycling during the previous calendar year.  The reports must include a certified statement that information in the report is “true, accurate, and complete.”
  • A change to increase the information that must be contained in the export notice provided to the EPA for CRTs sent for recycling.  Specifically, the exporter must state the name and address of the recycler or recyclers and the estimated quantity of used CRTs to be sent to each facility, as well as the names of any alternate recyclers.
  • A change to increase the information that must be contained in the export notice provided to the EPA for used, intact CRTs sent for reuse.  The notification required by the 2006 rule does not require any information about where the used, intact CRTs are being exported for use.  The amendments require that the notification include the name and address of the ultimate destination facility or facilities where the used, intact CRTs will be reused, refurbished, distributed, or sold for reuse and the estimated quantity of used, intact CRTs to be sent to each facility, as well as the name of any alternate destination facility or facilities.  Also required is a description of the manner in which the used, intact CRTs will be reused (including reuse after refurbishment) in the foreign country that will be receiving the used, intact CRTs.

EPA’s amendments to its CRT regulations were published in the June 26, 2014, FR.

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