Illegal Vehicles and Engines Turned Away at California Ports - Global Trade Magazine
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  December 17th, 2015 | Written by

Illegal Vehicles and Engines Turned Away at California Ports

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  • EPA-CBP joint operations targeted foreign-made vehicles and equipment without proper emission controls.
  • EPA inspections found that several companies imported vehicles without certification or proper emissions controls.
  • The Clean Air Act requires imported vehicles to meet federal emission standards.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced $94,700 in fines and nearly 1,400 items, including engines, scooters and ATVs, seized, exported, or destroyed as a result of their continued joint operations at the ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Oakland.

The operations target foreign-made vehicles and equipment without proper emission controls imported into the United States in violation of federal law. EPA estimates that the noncompliant vehicles and engines in its recent enforcement cases would have emitted at least 215,000 pounds of nitrogen oxide and hydrocarbons per year.

“EPA has been working diligently with CBP officers at the ports to ensure all items entering our nation comply with federal environmental standards,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “We will continue our efforts to reduce pollution and protect consumers from illegal imports.”

Under the joint Operation Stop Your Engine, EPA conducted inspections at the three California Ports and worked with CBP to investigate companies that had previously imported engines and vehicles. These inspections found that several companies imported vehicles and engines without certification or with emissions controls that did not meet specifications. Engines operating without adequate emission controls may emit excess carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and oxides of nitrogen which can cause respiratory illnesses, aggravate asthma and lead to the formation of ground level ozone or smog.

In total, five companies paid more than $44,100 in civil penalties for federal Clean Air Act violations. AKMI Corporation imported 30 heavy duty diesel engines from China without the proper emission control labels or certificate of conformity. The company was required to have the engines exported out of the country and to pay a $8,400 penalty.

Yamazuki, Inc. imported 108 all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) from China without the proper label showing date of manufacture. An inspection found that the sampled catalyst did not conform to the description in the company’s application for certification. The company was required to destroy all ATVs or have them exported out of the country and pay a $23,200 penalty.

CLC Logistics, Inc. imported 1,070 recreational vehicle engines and 30 outboard motor engines from China without the proper labels or certificate of conformity. These spark-ignition engines were seized and will be exported out of the country. The company also paid a $7,133 penalty.

Joyner USA, Inc. imported six all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) from China without the proper certificate. An inspection found that the sampled catalyst did not conform to the description in the company’s application for certification. The vehicles were seized and will be exported out of the country. The company was also required to pay a $4,100 penalty.

Infinity Source, Inc. imported 150 chainsaws with engines from China that lacked proper emissions certification, labels, and engine displacement and manufacturer information. The company was required to export the chainsaws and pay a $1,300 penalty.

The Clean Air Act prohibits the importation or sale of any new engines or vehicles unless they are certified by EPA to meet federal emission standards. Every vehicle and engine sold in the U.S. must be covered by an EPA-issued certificate of conformity.

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