Importing Vehicles and Engines into the U.S.
Procedures for Importing Vehicles and Engines
The Procedures for Importing Vehicles and Engines manual explains the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s regulations and requirements for importing motor vehicles, motor vehicle engines, heavy-duty on-highway engines, recreational vehicles (dirt bikes, ATVs, UTVs, snowmobiles) and nonroad engines into the United States.
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.
Importing Vehicles and Engines
- Overview of EPA Import Requirements for Vehicles and Engines (PDF) (22 pp, 1.1MB, EPA-420-B-11-015, March 2011) provides a way to quickly identify the EPA requirements for imported vehicles and engines.
- Procedures for Importing Vehicles and Engines into the United States (PDF) (68 pp, 3.3MB, EPA-420-B-10-027, July 2010) provides comprehensive information on importing your vehicle or engine.
- 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.
- Independent Commercial Importers (ICIs) (PDF) (1 pp, 434K, EPA-420-F-13-036, June 2013) are 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. These documents explain how to begin the process.
- The EPA Standard Form 3520-1 (PDF) (2 pp, 141K, October 2010) is a declaration form used to import passenger vehicles, highway motorcycles, and the corresponding engines into the United States. For heavy-duty highway engines see nonroad form 3520-21.
- The EPA Kit Car Policy explains the EPA requirements for manufacturing and importation of 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
Heavy-Duty On-Highway Engines, Recreational Vehicles, and Nonroad Engines
- The EPA Standard Form 3520-21 (PDF) (4 pp, 673K, January 2011) is a declaration form used to import all types of stationary and nonroad engines and heavy-duty highway engines into the United States. This form also applies for engines already installed in vehicles or equipment.
Note: This form can be filled out electronically, except for the signature, using Adobe Acrobat Reader.
- 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 questions and answers 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 (PDF) (16 pp, 358K, EPA420-B-09-028, June 2009)
- Bond Requirements for Nonroad Spark-Ignition Engines (PDF) (7 pp, 524K, EPA-420-F-10-034a, August 2010)
- Bond Worksheet (Excel) (2 worksheets, 64K)
- 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)