Now that summer is here, air conditioners and generators are on our minds. It is likely the AC unit or generator that was installed in your home or office was imported into the United States, and made in China. The EPA has very specific requirements regarding the importation of generators and motor vehicle engines, including ATVs, snowmobiles, motorcycles, and anything else with a non-road spark ignition engine. EPA is concerned about enforcing emissions standards under the Clean Air Act, and so should you.
EPA regulations regarding the importation of motor vehicles are enforced by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which will stop, examine, and seize any engine not exactly complying with detailed EPA requirements, including proper labels displayed on the engine part. All such importers should be aware of, and timely, accurately and completely submit EPA Form 3520-21 (EPA Declaration Form for Vehicles and Equipment Subject to Federal Air Pollution Regulations). Failure to do so will result in the seizure of the imported merchandise by U.S. Customs, and penalties against the importer up to $37,500 per vehicle/engine in violation. Seizures are resolved by filing a Petition with the appropriate U.S. Customs’ Fines, Penalties, and Forfeitures Office, and by negotiating and then signing an Administrative Settlement Agreement with the Air Enforcement Division of the EPA.
The aggressive enforcement of EPA’s regulations of 40 CFR Parts 86 and 90 were demonstrated in the recent settlement by Pep Boys which has agreed to pay the EPA $5 million, implement a corporate compliance program, and export over 15,000 non compliant vehicles and generators.