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Datamyne Blog

Covering trade & transport, with tips on using import-export data to advantage

CBP Enforcement Extends to Clean Air

Pep Boys pays $5 million to settle with EPA for illegal import of motor vehicles and generators

By Peter Quinter, guest columnist

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.

Copyright © 2010, Becker & Poliakoff

About Peter Quinter

10 May 2012: Peter Quinter is now a Shareholder in the law firm of GrayRobinson and Chair of the firm’s Customs & International Trade Law Group. Based in the firm’s Miami and Ft. Lauderdale offices, Quinter principally represents persons and companies involved in international trade and transport. Editor of the GrayRobinson Customs and International Law Blog, Quinter is widely recognized for his expertise in international and trade law.

You can contact Peter Quinter at [email protected] or at (954) 270-1864.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of its author and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views or Descartes Datamyne. In addition, this article is for general information purposes only and it’s not intended to provide legal advice or opinions of any kind and my not be used for professional or commercial purposes. No one should act, or refrain from acting, based solely on this article without first seeking appropriate legal or other professional advice.

Date posted: July 1, 2010

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