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Are TVs, computers, and other electronics regulated? | Smarter Sorting

The do's and don'ts of selling TVs, computers, printers and other electronics

State-level requirements for selling CEDs - Smarter Sorting, May 2022

What are the state-level rules for compliantly selling consumer electronics?

As the consumption of consumer electronics increases and the obligations to handle electronics in a safe and sustainable way becomes more and more important, it’s essential that retailers and manufacturers know their obligations and understand the proactive ways they can be good corporate citizens. 

Here are three questions electronics retailers and manufacturers should seek to answer:

1. What are the state-level regulations that apply to Covered Electronic Devices (CED) today?
2. How does the price of a TV affect which regulations apply?
3. Which states have obscure rules for CEDs?  

Failing to comply with selling requirements could result in being placed on a “Do Not Sell” list and the issuance of fines.

Demand for consumer electronics is going up and up and so are the risks if retailers make mistakes with selling, shipping, returns, recycling, and donations?

US sales of electronic devices are staggering. In 2021, we spent a whopping $442 billion. That’s $1,440 for every person. ​​Over the next five years, the industry expects a compound annual growth rate of 5.3% globally.

While demand for electronic devices increases, retailers and manufacturers are also under pressure to deliver products as efficiently and sustainably as possible. There are many hurdles to overcome - most notably, regulatory hurdles. Every phase of the consumer electronic supply chain is regulated, from equipment manufacture, to transportation, to selling in the store, to how the product must be disposed of when no longer needed. 

The early 2000s yielded a flurry of electronic device legislation in the United States. But regulations haven’t kept up with product innovation. This has left manufacturers, retailers and handlers of electronic devices struggling to interpret older regulations and apply them to new products hitting the market. 

For example, there are no federal regulations for how TVs, computers, monitors, computer peripherals, and printers should be sold, handled and disposed of. That said, half of US states have implemented their own regulations for electronics covering these devices, known formally as “Covered Electronic Devices (CEDs)”.

It’s imperative for manufacturers and retailers to understand state requirements, and each state’s requirements differ slightly. For example, in South Carolina, TVs that are sold for less than $100 are exempt from the CED requirements. While in Pennsylvania, manufacturers who only make computer peripherals (and no other device type) are exempt from requirements. Companies have needed to stay on top of regulations, including local nuances, to avoid being fined for shipping or disposing of products in the wrong way. 

This is where Smarter Sorting comes to the rescue. We know the rules. We also know the individual makeup of millions of consumer products. We can accurately identify the right product classification, instantly. 

In our State-level Requirements for Selling Covered Electronic Devices white paper, we examine all applicable requirements for selling CEDs and break down how manufacturers and retailers can confidently navigate the complex regulatory environment in order to get products to consumers, quickly and efficiently.

State-level requirements for selling CEDs - Smarter Sorting, May 2022