Fprra Approved
¦° — *-r	OMB No. 20.60-(
WARNING: Except for driving a nonconforming
vehicle imported under bond from the port of
entry to the vehicle owner's residence or to
the location where modification/testing work
is to be performed, it is a violation of the
Clean Air Act to operate such a vehicle on a
public street or highway or to sell it prior
to final release by the U.S. Customs Service.
The Clean Air Act requires that every motor vehicle
imported into the United States comply with the emission
requirements that are applicable to the model year in which
the vehicle was manufactured. Emission requirements are
applicable to the following:
(1)	Gasoline-fueled light-duty vehicles and light-duty
trucks manufactured after December 31, 1967.
(2)	Diesel-fueled light duty vehicles manufactured after
December 31, 1974.
(3)	Diesel fueled light-duty trucks manufactured after
December 31, 1975.
(4)	Motorcycles manufactured after December 31, 1977.
(5)	Gasoline and diese1-fueled engines built after January 1,
1970 for use in heavy-duty vehicles. (Heavy-duty vehicles
generally include any motor vehicle rated at more than
8500 pounds gross vehicle weight or that has a curb
weight of more than 6000 pounds.)
A manufacturer's model year usually begins during the
summer of the previous calendar year. For example, a vehicle
manufactured in August 1979 may be a 1980 model.
1971 and later model year vehicles manufactured in con-
formity with Federal emission requirements may be identified
by a label installed by the manufacturer in the engine compart-
ment in a highly visible location. The label will be entitled
"Vehicle Emission Control Information" and will contain the
name and trademark of the manufacturer. This label must

provide an unconditional statement of compliance with the
appropriate model year U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
regulations. A conforming motorcycle will have a similar
label located on its frame. Conforming 1968 through 1970
light-duty vehicles will not have an EPA label, but they may
be identified by the presence of a label on the vehicle's
doorpost specifying conformity with Federal motor vehicle
safety standards. A vehicle which does not have the proper
label almost certainly does not conform with U.S. emission
The Clean Air Act permits conditional importation of
a nonconforming vehicle, provided that a bond, at least
equal to the value of the vehicle, plus duty, is posted with
the U.S. Customs Service (Customs). The importer has 90
days to bring the vehicle into conformity. The following
options are currently available for securing release of the
EPA obligation on the importation bond:

One time exception for 5 year old vehicles
One time exception for immigrants

Catalyst Replacement
Exportation, Destruction, Redelivery
Modification (section 1.0) of a nonconforming vehicle
is usually not possible. Also, testing (section 2.0) can be an
expensive and frustrating experience, since the nearest test
laboratory may be hundredis of miles from your home and the
modifications that are. necessary for your vehicle to pass
the test may be extensive. Even if you are successful in
demonstrating conformity of your vehicle, you may experience
additional problems. Because your vehicle contains foreign-
version components, parts and service may be difficult to
obtain and the vehicle may not be covered by any warranty.

1.0 Modification Option Requirements
Modification of a nonconforming vehicle consists of
replacing, adding, or deleting components to make the vehicle
conform in all material respects to the design specifications
that applied to that vehicle described in the application
for certification for the version certified for sale in the
U.S. Under this option you must provide EPA with written
modification instructions from the manufacturer's U.S.
representative (see enclosed list) and invoices for parts and
labor that show this work was performed. Modifications
based on instructions from any source other than the U.S«
representative of the manufacturer are not acceptable and
will require testing in accordance with the Testing Option
requirements (see Section 2.0).
Since EPA certifies only those vehicles which are intended
for sale in the United States, we cannot provide information
on the modifications necessary to bring foreign models into
conformity with United States emission requirements.
Modification pf a nonconforming, vehicle is.usually not
possible. Many models available overseas were never certified
by their manufacturers for sale in the United States. Hence,
there is no certified version with; which to demonstrate con-
formity. Futhermore, most manufacturer's representatives
will not provide modification instructions to an importer and
ERA cannot require them to do so; .testing your vehicle via
the Federal Test Procedure will likely be the only option
available to demonstrate conformity,
2.0 Testing Option
Testing a vehicle to demonstrate compliance with U.S.
Federal emission requirements consists of having the vehicle
tested at a laboratory which EPA has determined is capable of
performing the Federal Test Procedure (FTP). (Enclosed is
a list of laboratories which EPA has reason to believe are
capable of conducting motor vehicle emission tests in accor-
dance with the FTP. Please note that this is not an exclusive
list of the laboratories. Laboratories can be added or deleted
at any time. Further information regarding the capability
of a laboratory may be obtained by contacting EPA.) The
cost of such a test is high ($850 or more) and there is risk
of failing for vehicles not originally manufactured to meet
U.S. standards. Evidence that a vehicle has passed an emis-
sion inspection test administered by a state (including
California), or a test conducted at a dealership, does not
demonstrate conformity with Federal emission requirements.
The FTP is a comprehensive test involving a prescribed sequence
of cold starting, hot starting and vehicle operating conditions,
performed on a chassis dynamometer. It determines hydrocarbon,
carbon monoxide, oxides of nitrogen, evaporative and, where

applicable, diesel particulate emissions from a vehicle
while it is actually being driven. A state test in most cases
measures only the hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide emissions
from a vehicle during a very short test.
If you elect to have a vehicle tested to demonstrate
compliance with the U.S. air pollution standards, any of the
laboratories EPA has determined capable of performing the
FTP must provide this Agency with evidence that the vehicle
was tested in accordance with the proper procedures. The
evidence includes a notarized copy of an EPA test report
form (copy enclosed) listing all the modifications (EPA does
not require specific modifications nor does it provide a
list of modifiers.) performed on the vehicle to enable it to
pass the test, the complete test documentation and clear
photographs of the modifications. If the vehicle is modified
by installation of a catalytic converter it must be equipped
with a fuel filler restrictor and "unleaded fuel only" labels
to insure the use of unleaded gasoline. The test laboratory
will send the completed test documentation to EPA. After we
receive the test documentation, review it and, determine if
the vehicle was successfully tested, we will send a bond
release letter to Customs and a copy to the importer.
If you have a vehicle tested at a laboratory under investi-
gation by EPA and you have not received a bond release letter
from EPA, we may be holding any approval or rejection of laboratory
test documentation on that vehicle until the investigation is
concluded. To protect yourself financially, we recommend
that you obtain a guarantee from the modifier or test laboratory
that if a test is rejected by EPA due to an investigation,
it will be tested at another laboratory at no additional cost
to you or your money will be refunded to you.
3.0 One Time Exceptions (This does not apply to those
vehicles covered under section 4.0 of this Fact Sheet.
The Department of Transportation Safety Standards must
sti11 be met.)
There are limited exceptions to these importation
requirements based on EPA's current enforcement policy.
The following criteria apply to these exceptions:
1.	First importation of a nonconforming vehicle by
the importer.
2.	Vehicle for personal use (not for company cars).
3.	Vehicle not for resale for at least two years
from the date of importation.
4.	Vehicle owned by importer prior to importation.

5.	Commercial enterprises, business agents or
other individuals can not arrange for the
purchase of th^ vehicle.
6.	Importer must be an individual not a business.
3.1 Five Year Personal Use Exception
A personal use exception for a vehicle that is five or
more model years old at the time of importation is currently
available. Individuals may import a nonconforming motor
vehicle into the U.S. provided the vehicle is five or more
model years old at the time of importation and all of the
criteria stipulated in 3.0 above are met. As of January 1,
1985, only 1980 and older model year vehicles qualify for
the exception. Individuals should be very careful to ascer-
tain the model year of a vehicle prior to purchase. In. many
foreign countries no model year designation exists. In the
U.S., manufacturers (both foreign and domestic) designate a
specific model year for a vehicle at the time of production.
A manufacturer's model year usually begins in the summer of
the calendar year. For example, a vehicle produced in August
of 1980 would be a 1981 model year vehicle if the manufacturer
has designated all vehicles produced after July to be 1981
model year vehicles. EPA bases its emission requirements on
the manufacturer's designated model year. Consequently, if
a manufacturer specifies the model year for U.S. version
vehicles to commence with August production, all vehicles
produced by that manufacturer after July would be considered
to be 1981 model year vehicles. If a question regarding the
model year of a vehicle arises, the manufacturer's U.S.
representative may be asked to confirm the model year.
When any nonconforming vehicle is imported, the importer
is required to file a number of forms including EPA Form
3520-1 titled, "Importation of Motor Vehicles and Motor
Vehicle Engines Subject to Federal Air Pollution Control
Regulations." Five year old personal use vehicles must be
imported under bond. Customs will forward the 3520-1 to EPA
and EPA will check to determine if the individual and vehicle
qualify for the five year exception. Individuals should
allow at least 60-90 days for this process to occur. Indivi-
duals do not have to apply for the exception directly. The
exception cannot be granted prior to vehicle importation.
If after 90 days, the exception has not been granted the
importer should write to EPA (address on p.9) to request
the exception. At that time the importer should provide a
notarized statement explaining how the vehicle was acquired
and whether the importer travelled abroad to acquire the

vehicle, how the importer became aware the subject vehicle
was available for purchase, proof of purchase, ownership and
importation, a statement as to whether this is the first
nonconforming vehicle that this individual has imported, a
statement that the vehicle is for personal use and not for
resale for at least two years and a request that the exception
be granted in their case.
3.2 Immigrant Exception
An individual who is permanently immigrating to the U.S.
may import one nonconforming vehicle of any model year at the
time of immigration. In order to qualify, the immigrant must
meet the requirements as specified in paragraph one of this
section (3.0). Vehicles which are purchased after the immi-
grant first arrives in the U.S. will not qualify for exception.
If the arriving immigrant can provide Customs with proof of
immigration, proof of vehicle ownership prior to importation,
and a statement that the vehicle is being imported for personal
use and not for resale, and is the first nonconforming vehicle
that he has imported, Customs may allow importation without
a bond for EPA purposes. If Customs is not able to make
this determination, then the vehicle must be imported under
bond and the immigrant must request the exception from EPA
and provide the necessary statements and documentation directly.
(EPA's address is provided on p. 9.)
4.0 Catalytic Converter Replacement
If you are importing a U.S. version vehicle, with EPA
and DOT labels affixed and equipped with a catalytic converter,
which has been driven outside North America (i.e., outside
the United States, Canada, Mexico or the U.S. Virgin Islands)
the catalytic converter will have been deactivated because
only leaded gasoline is available in such areas. Lead in
gasoline poisons the catalytic material. Therefore, the
catalytic converter will have to be replaced. Also, if your
vehicle is a 1981 or newer model and is equipped with an
oxygen sensor, the sensor will have to be cleaned or replaced,
per the vehicle manufacturer's instructions. The vehicle's
fuel filler restrictor will also have to be replaced if it
has been removed or disabled.
When an individual returns a catalyst equipped vehicle
from an area where unleaded fuel is not available, a bond
must be posted with Customs pending catalyst replacement
unless the following applies:
The vehicle is part of a catalyst control program,
approved by the Administrator of EPA, and instituted
and maintained by the manufacturer of the vehicle or

a U.S. Government Agency to ensure preservation or
replacement of the catalytic converter and restricted
fuel filler neck inlet and oxygen sensor (if appli-
cable ).
In order to secure the release of your bond, have the
catalytic converter replaced with a new converter (on some
vehicles only the catalytic material need be replaced rather
than the entire converter, check with the vehicle manufacturer)
have the oxygen sensor cleaned or replaced and have the fuel
filler neck restrictor replaced, if necessary. Submit to
EPA a clear copy of the work order from the facility where
the work was done stating that: the catalyst has been replaced;
the oxygen sensor has been cleaned or replaced or the vehicle
was not originally built with a sensor; and, the fuel filler
neck restrictor has been replaced or inspected and.is intact.
Send your submission, which includes your name, address, the.
vehicle identification number (VIN), the work order, and a
copy of the EPA Form 3520-1, to EPA at the address on page 9.
Tests conducted by states for emissions do not check
catalyst performance. In many cases it may be possible to
pass the state test even if the catalyst is totally destroyeu.
Consequently, if you have driven your vehicle on leaded fuel
abroad, the catalyst must be replaced regardless of state or
dealer related test results.
If you are contemplating exporting your U.S. version
vehicle from North America, you may obtain a waiver to have
the catalytic converter removed before export so that upon
return of the vehicle to the U.S. it will only have to be
reinstalled, rather than replaced with a new converter. For
information concerning a waiver, call (202) 382-2637.
5.0 Time Extension on the Bond
Final admission of a vehicle and release of the bond
cannot be made until we receive the required compliance infor-
mation. Importers are allowed 90 days to make the demonstra-
tion of compliance with EPA requirements.
In the event that you need an extension of time on the
bond, only Customs has the authority under joint Customs-EPA
regulations (19 CFR 12.73) to grant an extension. Write the
Customs office (not EPA) where the vehicle was imported,
providing justification for the extension. EPA has no
authority to grant time extensions on the bond.
6.0 Exportation, Destruction, Redelivery, Penalty
If you are unable to demonstrate conformity because of
expense or any other reason, your vehicle must be exported,

redelivered to Customs or destroyed. Failure to dispose of
the vehicle by one of these methods will subject you to the
assessment of liquidated damages by Customs up to the full
amount of the bond and a fine of up to $10,000 under the
Clean Air Act.
6.1 Petition for Mitigation of Penalty
If your vehicle is less than five model years old and
is the first nonconforming vehicle that you have imported into
the United States and you have imported it for personal use
and not for resale, there is an additional procedure available
whereby you may keep your vehicle upon payment of a penalty to
Customs. If you do not demonstrate conformity within the 90
day period, Customs will send you a notice to redeliver the
vehicle to their custody. If you do not redeliver the vehicle,
Customs will send you another notice, assessing you liquidated
damages in the full amount of the bond. At this point, you
have the right to petition the District Director at the port
of entry, in'writing, for mitigation of the assessed penalty
based on the circumstances of your case. You may then write
a letter to the District Director explaining why you have
been unable to demonstrate the conformity of your vehicle.
When a petition for mitigation is received, Customs will
consider a recommendation from EPA before making a final deter-
mination on assessing the penalty. For an individual who has
imported a, nonconforming vehicle for the first time for personal
use and not for resale, our normal recommendation to Customs is
that they mitigate the penalty to one-quarter of the value of
the bond. (If an individual has previously imported a noncon-
forming vehicle or is a commercial importer for the purpose of
resale, we will recommend no mitigation to Customs.)
If you wish to pay such a mitigated penalty, you may wait
until you receive a redelivery notice from Customs and proceed
as described above, or you may complete the enclosed "Petition
for Mitigation", and send it to EPA. In either case, reference
the Customs penalty case number if it has been assigned. We
will send it to Customs and recommend that they assess you a
penalty equal to one-quarter of the value of the bond on your
vehicle. After you have modified your vehicle to meet Federal
safety requirements and have received a release from DOT and
upon payment of this penalty, you will be permitted to keep
your vehicle.
Further, if you are physically handicapped and have
imported a specially- equipped vehicle which is not avail-
able in a certified configuration, additional mitigation may
be possible (documentation will be required).

7.0 Vehicles to be Registered in California
We have been informed by the California Air Resources
Board (CARB) that vehicles which have not been brought into
conformity with Federal or California emission requirements
cannot be registered in California. This means that the use
of any option other than those in section 1.0 or 2.0,
will not allow your vehicle to be registered in California.
8.0 Additional Information
If you have any questions that are not answered by this
fact sheet, you may contact the Investigation/Imports Section
by telephone at (202)-382-2504, or by mail (regular, certified
or registered) at:
MOD (EN-340F)
Investigation/Imports Section
401 M Street, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20460
For delivery by a courier service (e.g., Federal Express,
Airborne, etc.) only, use the following address:
MOD (EN-340F)
Investigation/Imports Section
499 South Capitol St., 2nd Floor
Washington, D.C. 20003
When calling EPA, please have available the make, model,
year and vehicle identification number (VIN) of your vehicle
(from the registration card) and, if it has already been
imported, the port of entry, date of entry and entry number
(from the EPA Form 3520-1) (You can only get an EPA Form
3520-1 from the port of entry and you should keep a copy for
your records.). If the vehicle has already been tested,
please include the name of the test laboratory, the test
date, the date that the laboratory mailed the results to
EPA and the EPA file number if available. When writing to
EPA, include this information, plus a telephone number (with
area code) where you can be reached during the day.
Federal safety standards are the responsibility of the
U.S. Department of Transportation, rather than the Environmental
Protection Agency. Therefore, questions concerning safety
requirements should be directed to the following individual
for response:
Director, Office'of Vehicle Safety Compliance
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
U.S. Department of Transportation
Washington, D.C. 20590
Rev. 10/85