The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced Jan. 2 in the Federal Register that Canadian-made vehicles that do not comply with federal motor vehicle safety standards but adhere to comparable Canadian standards are eligible for importation into the United States.
The vehicles granted this eligibility are either “substantially similar” to vehicles that were certified by their manufacturers as compliant with U.S. standards or have features that are capable of being altered to comply with all U.S. safety requirements.
The United States Code dictates that vehicles that are not originally manufactured to conform to all federal safety standards, such as cars built in another country, will be denied admission into the United States unless NHTSA has deemed otherwise.
“Where there is no substantially similar U.S. certified motor vehicle, 49 U.S.C. 30141 permits a nonconforming motor vehicle to be admitted into the United States if NHTSA decides that its safety features comply with, or are capable of being altered to comply with, all applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards based on destructive test data or such other evidence as NHTSA decides to be adequate,” the document states.
In October, NHTSA published a notice announcing a similar, albeit tentative, decision. NHTSA’s previous notice stated that certain motor vehicles certified by their original manufacturer as complying with all applicable Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standards are eligible for importation into the United States. The notice included tables that detailed the “harmonized standards” between certain Canadian and U.S. regulations.
Among other vehicles, NHTSA’s decision extended to all multipurpose passenger vehicles, trucks and buses with a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or less manufactured between Sept. 1, 2017 and May 1, 2018. The agency determined that vehicles that fall into this category comply with federal standards Nos. 138, 201, 206, 208, 213, 214, 222, 225 and 226. These standards refer to occupant crash protection, door locks, child restraint systems, side impact protection and rear impact guards.
According to the document, importers must indicate to U.S. Customs and Border Protection that the vehicle has been determined eligible in order to import a vehicle made admissible under any final decision.