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Importing Vehicles and Engines into the U.S.

Certification Guidance

Manufacturers

If you are a manufacturer seeking certification for light-duty vehicles, on-highway motorcycles, heavy-duty engines, recreational vehicle or engine (dirt bikes, ATVs, ORUVs, snowmobiles), nonroad and marine engines, as well as portable fuel containers, fuel line components and fuel tanks, you will need to review information about EPA’s vehicle and engine compliance information system, Verify, on the Verify website. The Verify web page contains links to basic information about the system as well as, FAQs, establishing a Verify account, obtaining a manufacturer code, compliance help, publications and related links. Verify collects emissions and fuel economy compliance information for all types of vehicles, engines, and equipment used in transportation and other mobile source applications. Vehicle and engine manufacturers use the Verify information system to report this information to EPA.

Independent Commercial Importers (ICI)

An ICI is an Independent Commercial Importer that has been issued a current, valid EPA Certificate of Conformity, is not the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), and does not have a contractual agreement with the OEM to act as its authorized representative for the distribution of vehicles or engines into the U.S. market. ICIs act independently of the OEM, but must follow the same emission requirements imposed on OEMs by the Clean Air Act. Any person or business that wants to become an ICI should first become knowledgeable of the requirements for ICIs (40 CFR Part 85, Subpart P) and of Certification(40 CFR Part 86), and then must obtain at least one Certificate of Conformity from EPA's Compliance Division in accordance with those regulatory requirements. ICIs will also need to follow the certification instructions on the Verify website.

The first step in the process is to notify EPA via a letter of intent sent to:

ICI Team Leader
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Compliance Division
2000 Traverwood Drive
Ann Arbor, MI 48105

Alternative Fuel Conversion

Alternative fuel conversions are vehicles or engines that are *modified to run on different fuels than the ones for which they were designed. Most conversions involve modifying gasoline or diesel vehicles to use alcohol, electricity, or gaseous fuel such as natural gas or propane. EPA regulations on clean alternative fuel conversions provide options for fuel converters to avoid a possible tampering violation when the vehicle or engine is changed from its original certified configuration to enable operation on the new fuel(s). A description of the program and links to the regulations are available on EPA’s clean fuels conversions website at www.epa.gov/otaq/consumer/fuels/altfuels/altfuels.htm. The regulations establish different demonstration requirements, depending on the age of the vehicle or engine being converted. Vehicles and engines less than two years old gain protection from a possible tampering violation by certifying the fuel conversion, much like the process used by original equipment manufacturers. Vehicles over two years old, but still inside the vehicle’s EPA-defined full, useful life may be optioanlly certified, and thus, receive a Certificate of Conformity, or gain protection through a new “notification” process. Vehicles outside of their EPA defined full, useful life may also take advantage of this notification process.

* Modifying a certified vehicle or engine to operate on an alternative fuel does not constitute tampering if the modifier properly installs an acceptable conversion system (either a system that is EPA-certified, or a system that has undergone the notification process, depending on vehicle/engine age and use) and follows the manufacturer’s installation instructions. For vehicles and engines that are modified to operate on an alternative fuel for purposes of testing to obtain EPA approval or in preparation for EPA notification of an alternative fuel conversion system, the action does not constitute tampering if the converter first obtains an EPA testing exemption. For information on how to obtain an EPA exemption, please send an email to imports@epa.gov or call the Imports Hotline at 734-214-4100.

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