130A-309.134. (See editor's note for first report due date) Requirements for computer equipment manufacturers.

(a) Registration Required. - Each computer equipment manufacturer, before selling or offering for sale computer equipment in North Carolina, shall register with the Department.

(b) Manufacturer Label Required. - A computer equipment manufacturer shall not sell or offer to sell computer equipment in this State unless a visible, permanent label clearly identifying the manufacturer of that equipment is affixed to the equipment.

(c) Computer Equipment Recycling Plan Required. - Each computer equipment manufacturer shall develop, submit to the Department, and implement one of the following plans to provide a free and reasonably convenient recycling program to take responsibility for computer equipment discarded by consumers:

(1) Level I recycling plan. - A computer equipment manufacturer shall submit a recycling plan for reuse or recycling of computer equipment discarded by consumers in the State produced by the manufacturer. The manufacturer shall submit a proposed plan to the Department within 90 days of registration as required by subsection (a) of this section. The plan shall:

a. Provide that the manufacturer will take responsibility for computer equipment discarded by consumers that it manufactured.

b. Describe any direct take-back program to be implemented by the manufacturer. Collection methods that are deemed to meet the requirements of this subdivision include one or more of the following:

1. A process offered by the computer equipment manufacturer or the manufacturer's designee for consumers to return discarded computer equipment by mail.

2. A physical collection site operated and maintained by the computer equipment manufacturer or the manufacturer's designee to receive discarded computer equipment from consumers, which is available to consumers during normal business hours.

3. A collection event hosted by the computer equipment manufacturer or the manufacturer's designee at which a consumer may return computer equipment.

c. Include a detailed description as to how the manufacturer will implement the plan.

d. Provide for environmentally sound management practices to transport and recycle discarded computer equipment.

e. Include a consumer recycling education program on the laws governing the recycling and reuse of discarded computer equipment under this Part and on the methods available to consumers to comply with those requirements. The manufacturer shall operate a toll-free telephone number to answer questions from consumers about computer recycling options.

(2) Level II recycling plan. - A computer equipment manufacturer shall submit a recycling plan for reuse or recycling of computer equipment discarded by consumers in the State produced by the manufacturer and by other manufacturers. The manufacturer shall submit a proposed plan to the Department within 90 days of registration as required by subsection (a) of this section. The plan may offer additional options to collect other types of electronic equipment that do not constitute discarded computer equipment, as that term is defined under G.S. 130A-309.131, and may allow for assessment of a nominal fee for collection of these other types of electronic equipment that are not discarded computer equipment. The plan shall include all of the elements set forth in subdivision (1) of subsection (c) of this section. In addition the plan shall:

a. Provide that the manufacturer will take responsibility for computer equipment discarded by consumers that was manufactured by other manufacturers, as well as computer equipment that it manufactured.

b. Provide that the manufacturer shall: (i) maintain physical collection sites to receive discarded computer equipment from consumers in the 10 most populated municipalities in the State. The physical collection sites shall be available to consumers during normal business hours, at a minimum; and (ii) host at least two collection events annually within the State.

(3) Level III recycling plan. - A computer equipment manufacturer shall submit a recycling plan for reuse or recycling of computer equipment discarded by consumers in the State produced by the manufacturer and by other manufacturers. The manufacturer shall submit a proposed plan to the Department within 90 days of registration as required by subsection (a) of this section. The plan may offer additional options to collect other types of electronic equipment that do not constitute discarded computer equipment, as that term is defined under G.S. 130A-309.131, and may allow for assessment of a nominal fee for collection of these other types of electronic equipment that are not discarded computer equipment. The plan shall include all of the elements set forth in subdivision (1) of subsection (c) of this section. In addition the plan shall:

a. Provide that the manufacturer will take responsibility for computer equipment discarded by consumers that was manufactured by other manufacturers, as well as computer equipment that it manufactured.

b. Provide that the manufacturer shall: (i) maintain physical collection sites to receive discarded computer equipment from consumers in 50 of the State's counties, of which 10 of those counties shall be the most populated counties in the State. The physical collection sites shall be available to consumers during normal business hours, at a minimum; and (ii) host at least two collection events annually within the State.

(d) Fee Required. - Within 90 days of registration as required in subsection (a) of this section, a computer equipment manufacturer shall pay an initial registration fee to the Department. A computer equipment manufacturer that has registered shall pay an annual renewal registration fee to the Department, which shall be paid each year no later than July 1. The proceeds of these fees shall be credited to the Electronics Management Fund established pursuant to G.S. 130A-309.137. A computer equipment manufacturer that sells 1,000 items of computer equipment or fewer per year is exempt from the requirement to pay the registration fee and the annual renewal fee imposed by this subsection. The amount of the fee a computer equipment manufacturer shall pay shall be determined on the basis of the plan the manufacturer develops, submits, and implements pursuant to subsection (c) of this section, as follows:

(1) A computer equipment manufacturer who develops, submits, and implements a Level I recycling plan pursuant to subdivision (1) of subsection (c) of this section shall pay an initial registration fee of fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000) and an annual renewal fee of fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000) to the Department.

(2) A computer equipment manufacturer who develops, submits, and implements a Level II recycling plan pursuant to subdivision (2) of subsection (c) of this section shall pay an initial registration fee of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) and an annual renewal fee of seven thousand five hundred dollars ($7,500) to the Department.

(3) A computer equipment manufacturer who develops, submits, and implements a Level III recycling plan pursuant to subdivision (3) of subsection (c) of this section shall pay an initial registration fee of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) and an annual renewal fee of two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) to the Department.

(e) Computer Equipment Recycling Plan Revision. - A computer equipment manufacturer may prepare a revised plan and submit it to the Department at any time as the manufacturer considers appropriate in response to changed circumstances or needs. The Department may require a manufacturer to revise or update a plan if the Department finds that the plan is inadequate or out of date.

(f) Payment of Costs for Plan Implementation. - Each computer equipment manufacturer is responsible for all costs associated with the development and implementation of its plan. A computer equipment manufacturer shall not collect a fee from a consumer or a local government for the management of discarded computer equipment at the time the equipment is delivered for recycling.

(g) Joint Computer Equipment Recycling Plans. - A computer equipment manufacturer may fulfill the requirements of subsection (c) of this section by participation in a joint recycling plan with other manufacturers. A joint plan shall meet the requirements of subsection (c) of this section.

(h) Annual Report. - Each computer equipment manufacturer shall submit a report to the Department by October 1 of each year stating the total weight of all computer equipment collected for recycling or reuse in the previous fiscal year. The report shall also include a summary of actions taken to comply with the requirements of subsection (c) of this section. (2010-67, s. 2(a).)