Learn About Importing Vehicles and Engines
Overview of EPA Import Requirements for Vehicles and Engines (PDF)(22 pp, 1.04 MB, EPA-420-B-11-015, March 2011) provides a summary of EPA requirements for importing vehicles and engines.
The Clean Air Act prohibits importation into the United States of any motor vehicle, motor vehicle engine, nonroad engine and equipment that does not conform to the EPA emission standards and requirements. These standards apply to all vehicles and engines including imported motor vehicles, heavy-duty engines, nonroad engines, (generators, watercraft, and lawn and garden equipment), and recreational vehicles, whether they are new or used, manufactured domestically or abroad.
Nonconforming Vehicles and Engines
Can be imported in two circumstances:
- By Certification:
Nonconforming vehicles can be imported, if they are modified, tested and certified by an Independent Commercial Importer (ICI).
EPA regulations also allow nonconforming vehicles and engines to be temporarily imported under U. S. Customs and Border Protection bond, if they qualify for an EPA exemption. EPA and Customs regulations allow for the temporary importation of nonconforming vehicles with EPA pre-approval for the following purposes:
- By Exemption:
- Repair or alteration
make arrangements with an ICI for modifications, testing, and certification, or
obtain EPA pre-approval for the exemptions listed above.
Importers are encouraged to read the detailed information on the importation of nonconforming vehicles and engines, which can be found in the Procedures for Importing Vehicles and Engines into the United States (PDF)(68 pp, 3.23 MB, EPA-420-B-10-027, July 2010).
Also be aware that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and/or EPA can seize and/or export any goods that arrive at a United States port of entry without the appropriate Independent Commercial Importer (ICI) arrangements or a valid EPA exemption, and can levy other fines and penalties.