Importing Vehicles and Engines into the U.S.
Publications and Forms
The Procedures for Importing Vehicles and Engines into the U.S. Manual explains EPA regulations and requirements for importing motor vehicles, motor vehicle engines, heavy-duty on-highway engines, recreational vehicles (dirt bikes, ATVs, ORUVs, snowmobiles) and nonroad engines into the U.S.
NOTE: You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader, available as a free download, to view some of the files on this page. See EPA's PDF page to learn more about PDF, and for a link to the free Acrobat Reader.
Procedures for Importing Vehicles and Engines into the U.S.
- Read the shorter Overview of EPA Import Requirements for Vehicles and Engines (PDF) (22 pp, 1.1MB, EPA-420-B-11-015, March 2011). This document provides a way to quickly identify the EPA requirements for imported vehicles and engines.
- Read the detailed Procedures for Importing Vehicles and Engines into the United States (PDF) (68 pp, 3.3MB, EPA-420-B-10-027, July 2010). This document provides comprehensive information on importing vehicles or engines.
EPA Import Declaration Forms
- Use EPA Standard Form 3520-1 (PDF) (2 pp, 134K, October 2010) to import passenger vehicles, highway motorcycles, and the corresponding engines into the U.S..
- Use EPA Standard Form 3520-21 (PDF) (4 pp, 673K, January 2011) to import
heavy-duty highway engines and nonroad engines (gas, diesel, marine, stationary) into the U.S.. This form also applies for engines already installed in vehicles or equipment.
Note: These forms can be filled out electronically, except for the signature, using Adobe Acrobat Reader.
- Summary of Industry and Imports Codes found on EPA Imports Declarations Forms 3520-1 and 3520-21 (PDF) (2 pp, 76K, EPA-420-B-13-032, June 2013)
- EPA publishes a list of Canadian Vehicles Approved for Import. Canada has harmonized vehicle emission standards with the U.S., and many vehicles made for sale in Canada are eligible for import to the U.S. without modification.
- Independent Commercial Importers (ICIs) (PDF) (1 pp, 434K, EPA-420-F-13-036, June 2013) identifies businesses authorized by EPA to import, modify and test vehicles to demonstrate conformity with U.S. emission requirements.
- In order to become a designated Vehicle Manufacturer or ICI, you must obtain a certificate of conformity. This information explains how to begin the process.
- The EPA Kit Car Policy explains the EPA requirements for manufacturing and importation of kit cars (replica vehicles).
- The Engine Switching Fact Sheet (PDF) (3 pp, 13K, March 1991) explains EPA's policy on engine switching, which may affect a vehicle's eligibility for import. Also see Clean Air Act Mobile Source Policies and Guidance and Tampering Enforcement Policy Memorandum 1A (PDF) (6 pp, 23K, September 1997).
Mini-truck Imports Reference Materials
- Mini-trucks: Importing Used Motor Vehicles as Nonroad Vehicles (PDF) (5 pp, 192K, EPA-420-F-09-014, February 2009)
explains EPA policy on importing mini-trucks after December 8, 2008. A question and answer section is included.
- Mini-trucks: Questions and Answers for State Inspection and Maintenance Programs (PDF) (4 pp, 540K, EPA-420-F-09-004, March 2009) addresses questions state inspection and maintenance (I/M) lane operators may have pertaining to imported mini-trucks.
- Instructions for Certifying Imported Mini-trucks (EPA420-B-09-028, June 2009).
- Bond Requirements for Nonroad Spark-ignition Engines (PDF) (7 pp, 524K, EPA-420-F-10-034a, August 2010).
- For telephone assistance, please call the Imports Team at (734) 214-4100.
- Send email requests for assistance to: Imports (Imports@epa.gov).
- Send fax requests to 734-214-IMPO (4676).