U.S. Customs and Border Protection is proposing to amend its regulations to harmonize the documentation requirements applicable to different classes of vehicles and engines that are subject to the Clean Air Act’s emission standards. This rule also proposes to permit the required Environmental Protection Agency emission compliance forms to be filed with CBP electronically. Comments on this proposed rule are due no later than Sept. 19.

The CAA prohibits the importation of new motor vehicles and motor vehicle engines unless they are covered by an EPA certificate of conformity. The EPA requires the submission of certain documents for purposes of compliance with the CAA: Declaration Form 3520-1 for passenger vehicles, highway motorcycles and their corresponding engines, and Declaration Form 3520-21 for heavy-duty highway engines and non-road engines (gas, diesel, marine, stationary), including those already installed in vehicles or equipment.

CBP regulations currently require importers of goods covered by form 3520-1 to file the requisite information at the time of entry but provide an exemption for imports that are covered by an EPA certificate of conformity and labeled accordingly. Importers of goods covered by form 3520-21 are only required to prepare the form and keep it on file for at least five years from the date of entry, but there is no exemption for goods covered by an EPA certificate of conformity.

CBP is now proposing to conform these entry filing requirements so that importers of stationary, non-road or heavy-duty highway engines (including those incorporated into vehicles or equipment) would have to file form 3520-21 at the time of entry unless they hold a valid EPA certificate of conformity and the engines are labeled to show compliance with applicable emission requirements.

This rule would also allow the electronic filing of forms 3520-1 and 3520-21 in the Automated Commercial Environment, although they could also still be filed on paper with a paper entry filing at the time of entry.

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