Imported Empty Beverage Container Reporting and Inspection Program


Public Resources Code §14595 declares the CRV redemption of imported empty beverage container material by certified recycling centers and processors presents a significant threat to the integrity of the California Beverage Container Recycling Program (CBCRP) and to the Beverage Container Recycling Fund. Furthermore, pursuant to PRC §14595.5 (a)(1) no person shall pay, claim, or receive any refund value, processing payment, handling fee, or administrative fee for beverage container material that the person knew, or should have known, was imported from out of state.

In September 2012, AB1933 (Gordon) amended PRC §14596 (a) & (b), which are associated with persons importing empty beverage container materials. The amended provisions reduced the weight thresholds for reporting and inspection requirements and mandated that vehicles importing empty beverage containers in excess of the weight thresholds must pass through one of 16 border inspection stations operated by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (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 an inspection station officer, a California Highway Patrol officer, or any other local or state law enforcement officer, in order for the officer to determine whether the driver is in violation of this section.

On January 13, 2014, the Office of Administrative Law approved CalRecycle’s regulations to implement the reporting and inspection provisions contained in PRC §14596(a) & (b).


Importing Out-of-State Empty Beverage Containers for California Redemption Value (CRV) is a

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

Any person importing more than 25 pounds of aluminum, bimetal, or plastic empty beverage container material, or more than 250 pounds of glass empty beverage container material, in a motor vehicle, into California, is required to do all of the following:

    • Enter California only through an open and staffed CDFA border inspection station and declare you are importing empty beverage container material.
    • Complete an Imported Material Report (IMR) and present it to a CDFA border station agent upon seeking entry into California. The IMR requires specific information about the material, point of origin, destination, vehicle, driver, trucking company, and receiver. Individuals can access and complete the online version of the IMR or obtain a hard copy at any open and operating CDFA border station. For reference purposes only, you can view/print this IMR so you will know what specific information is required to be included on the official hardcopy IMR when you arrive at the CDFA border station. Be advised that this reference only version of the IMR cannot be completed and submitted to, and will not be accepted at, a CDFA border station to meet the regulatory reporting requirements.
    • Submit to a vehicle inspection conducted by CDFA border station agents or other appropriate officials and secure a Proof of Inspection (POI) document.
    • If importing more than 100 pounds of material, obtain and provide a copy of a weight ticket completed and issued by a licensed, certified, registered, or otherwise officially credentialed weigh master describing the material and indicating the weight for each individual load of empty beverage container material. A separate weight ticket must be prepared and retained for each load by material type. The weight tickets must be attached to the corresponding IMR.
    • Retain possession of both the IMR and POI until the load is delivered to the destination indicated on the IMR.
    • Persons importing empty beverage containe material into California are prohibited from delivering the materials to a registered curbside program or a certified recycling center, drop-off or collection program, or community service program. Individuals will not be restricted from delivering imported materials to a certified processor, or to a junk dealer as defined in the Business and Professions Code beginning at Section 21600.
    • Imported empty aluminum beverage containers sold to junk dealers must be handled as nonferrous material subject to the laws governing scrap metal and alloys in accordance with applicable sections of the Business and Professions Code beginning at Section 21600.
    • 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 the material is accompanied by a POI, IMR, and other required supporting documents.
    • Persons importing empty beverage container material are required to maintain designated records (POI, IMR, weight ticket) and make them available for review by CalRecycle for a period of five years following their preparation.

Imported Material Report (IMR)

The emergency regulations require any person importing empty beverage container materials greater than 25 pounds of aluminum, bimetal or plastic, or more than 250 pounds of glass to provide a fully completed and signed IMR, and all applicable required supporting documentation, to CDFA personnel upon seeking entry into California.

To assist in complying with this reporting requirement, 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 prior to 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.

If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact the Recycling Program Enforcement Branch at 1-866-CANLOAD (226-5623) or send an email to

Proof of Inspection (POI)

“Proof of Inspection” means a written document issued by a California Department of Food and Agriculture inspector after a load of empty beverage container material passes inspection for entry into California.

In accordance with PRC §14596 (b) and 14CCR Section 2831.1, all persons importing empty beverage container materials into California must obtain a Proof of Inspection prior to entering the state. POI documentation can ONLY be completed and provided by CDFA border station personnel after CDFA has conducted an inspection of the applicable vehicle and materials being imported, and the person importing the material has submitted a completed IMR.


For more information, visit Beverage Container Recycling Home