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$120,000 Fine, Compliance Plan for Illegal Imports of Motorcycles and RVs

Tuesday, January 07, 2014
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Justice announced Jan. 6 that a Texas-based group of companies and their owner must either stop importing vehicles or follow a comprehensive compliance plan to settle Clean Air Act violations stemming from the alleged illegal import of nearly 25,000 highway motorcycles and recreational vehicles without proper documentation. The four parties must also pay a $120,000 civil penalty. The consent decree is subject to a 30-day public comment period and court approval.

According to a joint press release, the companies allegedly imported the vehicles from several foreign manufacturers through the Port of Long Beach, Calif., and then sold them through the Internet and from a retail location in Texas. EPA’s investigation showed that approximately 11,000 of the imported vehicles were not covered by an EPA certificate of conformity, which means that EPA is unable to confirm that the emissions from these vehicles meet federal standards. Other violations included approximately 23,000 vehicles sold without the required emissions warranty and approximately 500 vehicles that did not have proper emission control labels.

The press release states that as part of the settlement the companies will either have to certify that they are no longer engaging in CAA-regulated activities or follow a comprehensive plan over the next five years that would include regular vehicle inspections, emissions testing and other measures to ensure compliance at various stages of purchasing, importing and selling vehicles. In addition, the companies are required to export or destroy 115 of their current vehicles that have catalytic converters or carburetors that do not adhere to the certificate of conformity submitted to EPA.

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