FAQs about the Environmental Handling Fee (EHF)
- How is the program funded?
The program is financed by an Environmental Handling Fee (EHF) remitted by member producers, distributors and retailers on new regulated products sold in BC. 100% of the program revenue is used for the administration, collection, transportation, and responsible recycling of unwanted electronics.
- Is this program funded by taxpayers?
The EHF is not a tax and none of the funds collected go to the government. The cost of the program is not borne by taxpayers but by consumers, producers, retailers and distributors of electronic products.
- What are the acceptable electronic items included in the program, and how much are the fees?
Regulated electronic items can be recycled free of charge at any Return-It ElectronicsCollection Site. The associated Environmental Handling Fees (EHF) are charged at the time of purchase.
- Why should I have to pay a fee on the purchase of new electronics?
Environmental Handling Fees (EHF) on the sale of new products assist in covering the cost of responsible recycling of electronics currently in the waste stream. Many of the products dropped off at Collection Sites are old or produced by companies who are no longer in business. The EHF covers the cost of regulating all electronic products including historic and orphaned waste.
- How are the fees determined?
Fees are calculated by product category to cover the cost to collect and process the existing unwanted electronics being managed by the program. 100% of the EHF is used for the administration, collection, transportation and responsible recycling of regulated electronic products.
- Do I have to pay tax on the EHF (Environmental Handling Fee)?
Yes. Effective April 1, 2013, the EHF is subject to GST and PST.
British Columbia returned to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) 5% and Provincial Sales Tax (PST) 7% system and therefore, Harmonized Sales Tax HST of 12% will no longer be applicable as of April 1, 2013.
- Will I get money back when I return my used electronics?
There is no refund paid to you when you return electronics for recycling as this is not a deposit program. Under the Stewardship Program, you can return your electronics free of charge to a Return-It Electronics Collection Site and be assured they will be recycled responsibly.
- How often are fees reviewed?
Fee levels are monitored on an ongoing basis and if it is determined that fees are too high or too low then changes are implemented. Feedback from stakeholders is important during these reviews. Questions and comments raised during the consultation will be documented in the final report.
- Can I recover the fees?
Return-It Electronics program members charge the EHFs they pay by charging the EHFs “down the chain” to their customers who will in turn do the same. In most cases the EHF will be shown separately on retail purchases when the consumer pays the EHFs.
- Do fees apply to used equipment?
No, EHFs do not apply to used equipment.
- What if I have not heard back from my distributor/reseller as to whether they are registered as a remitter or not?
You should register as a remitter and apply the EHFs to your sales. Registrants may change their remittance responsibility at a later date.
- Are online sales covered by the program?
Yes, the regulation captures all vendors who sell online as well as any BC residents who purchase online and import into the province.
- What is the definition of a "Producer"?
- I don't have direct sales into British Columbia but sell through a distributor, who in turn sells into British Columbia. Do I have to register?
Yes, the definition of Producer obligates you and therefore you are required to register, but you do not have to remit EHFs if all of your distributors are registered and remitting EHFs on sales of your products. EPRA may require you to provide a customer list so that this can be verified and may conduct an audit for the same purpose.
- What about cross border purchasing? Some consumers shop in Alberta and bring the products across the provincial border.
All consumers are required to remit the fee on the import of any obligated products into BC.
- What kind of reporting will you need on a monthly basis? Will you need details such as the customer name, invoice number, etc?
Remitters are required to report the number of units sold of each obligated product during the reporting period, or if applicable, zero sales of obligated products during the reporting period. While not required for monthly reporting, back up information such as customer name, invoice #, etc. must be available in case of an audit. All members will be periodically audited by the program for EHF compliance.
- How do we handle the assignment of EHFs to bundled computer systems (i.e. where a retailer may offer a single price for a CPU, monitor, keyboard and mouse)?
A single EHF will be charged for each obligated product SKU if it is a bundled computers system product. Where products from more than one category are sold within a single SKU, the single highest applicable EHF will be charged. (note: this does not apply to all-in-one, or integrated products)
- Is the EHF charged on each component of a desktop computer that is sold separately (i.e.: keyboard, mother board, mice, cables and computer speakers)?
No, there are EHFs for the CPU and monitor, however, no EHF is charged on items such as cables, hard drives or motherboards whether included as a package or sold separately. All of these items are accepted for recycling at all Return-It Electronics Collection Sites.
- What should the consumer be charged for bundled mice and keyboard purchases?
The products will be sold as a bundled product and will be charged only one fee for this product. This fee will be: Mouse and Keyboard: $0.90