Background

The Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued an interim final rule amending its regulations to allow importers of motor vehicles and motor vehicle equipment subject to federal safety, bumper and theft prevention standards to provide information to U.S. Customs and Border Protection in either electronic or paper format. Comments on this rule are due no later than Oct. 5.

Currently there are several provisions in the NHTSA’s regulations that explicitly or impliedly require a paper filing for specific pieces of data. However, CBP is in the process of transitioning to the Automated Commercial Environment, which will generally require import data to be submitted electronically. This rule thus amends the regulations to state that filings can be made in any format accepted by CBP. The NHTSA notes that this rule does not require importers to use electronic filing or to file any different or additional information when utilizing electronic filing.

This rule also deletes a requirement for importers to present a copy of Customs Form 7501 to CBP at the time of importation. The NHTSA said this form contained certain information that was necessary if it decided to enforce forfeiture of the DOT conformance bond but has now determined that this information is no longer needed for this purpose.

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