Imported Empty Beverage Container Reporting and Inspection Program

It’s against the law to redeem California Redemption Value (CRV) fees on imported empty beverage container material. Individuals should not pay, claim, or receive any refund value, processing payment, handling fee, or administrative fee for beverage container material that they know or should have known was imported from out of state.

Public Resources Code §14595-14599 and Title 14 Code of Regulations, Division 2, Chapter 5, Subchapter 11.1.

Anyone importing empty beverage container materials into California is prohibited from delivering the materials to a registered curbside program or a certified recycling center, drop-off or collection program, or community service program.

Any person is restricted from taking delivery in California of any empty beverage container material the person knew, or should have known, was imported into California, unless a Proof of Inspection (POI), Imported Material Report (IMR), and other required supporting documents accompany the material.


Importing Out-of-State Empty Beverage Containers for CRV is a

Imported Material Report

All people must provide a fully completed and signed IMR and all required supporting documentation to California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) personnel when seeking entry into California if importing empty beverage container materials:

  • More than 25 pounds of aluminum, bimetal, plastic or 
  • More than 250 pounds of glass.

CalRecycle has developed both an online IMR process and an in-person IMR process.

  • The online IMR process allows individuals to complete an IMR online and print it before arrival at a CDFA border station.
  • The in-person IMR process has been developed to accommodate individuals arriving at a CDFA border station without a completed IMR.

You can obtain an official hard copy IMR at any open and operating CDFA border station.

For questions or assistance, contact the Recycling Program Enforcement Branch at 1-866-CANLOAD (226-5623) or email

Proof of Inspection 

Proof of Inspection means a written document issued by a CDFA official after a load of empty beverage container material passes inspection for entry into California.

Every person importing empty beverage container materials into California must obtain a Proof of Inspection before entering the state.
POI documentation can ONLY be completed and provided by CDFA border station personnel after CDFA has inspected the applicable vehicle and imported materials and the person importing the material has submitted a completed IMR.

PRC §14596 (b) and 14CCR Section 2831.1

Who Can Accept Out-of-State Material?

Certified processors and junk dealers cannot pay CRV on imported materials.

What Do I Need to Know If I Am Importing Empty Beverage Container Materials Into California?

Vehicles importing empty beverage containers above the weight thresholds must pass through one of 16 border inspection stations operated by CDFA.

It is a violation of the law if the vehicle operator:

  • Fails to stop the vehicle at a border inspection station
  • Willfully avoids a border inspection station or
  • Fails to stop upon demand of officials for purposes of making an inspection.

Weight station

How to Submit and Retain Records

Anyone in California using a motor vehicle to import:

  • More than 25 pounds of aluminum, bimetal, or plastic empty beverage container material or
  • More than 250 pounds of empty glass beverage container material.

Must enter California only through an open and staffed CDFA border inspection station and:

  • Complete an Imported Material Report and present it to a CDFA border station agent
    • The Imported Material Report requires specific information about the:
      • Material
      • Point of origin
      • Destination
      • Vehicle
      • Driver
      • Trucking company
      • Receiver
    • Individuals can access and complete the online version of the Imported Material Report or obtain a hard copy at any open and operating CDFA border station.
  • Submit to a vehicle inspection conducted by CDFA border station agents or other appropriate officials and secure a Proof of Inspection (POI) document.
  • Obtain and provide a copy of a weight ticket completed and issued by an officially credentialed weigh master (if importing more than 100 pounds of material).
    • Describe each individual load of empty beverage container material:
      • Material type
      • Weight
    • Prepare and retain a separate weight ticket for each load by material type.
    • Attach the weight tickets to the corresponding Imported Material Report.
  • Retain possession of the Imported Material Report and POI until the load is delivered to the destination indicated on the Imported Material Report.
  • Maintain designated records (POI, Imported Material Report, weight ticket) and make them available for review by CalRecycle for a period of five years following their preparation.