USA: EPA enforcing compliance on yachts imported into the USA

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is stepping up enforcement on all yachts imported into the United States. Foreign-built yachts imported for ownership by a US citizen or for sale in the USA will be required to prove Clean Air Act compliance. This enforcement does not apply to visit yachts.

Published 6 years ago, updated 4 years ago

A number of yacht importers have reported heavier enforcement of the Clean Air Act that mandates all internal combustion engines comply with certain emissions regulations.

The regulation has been in place for many years, but the increased enforcement is a byproduct of an updated filing system with US Customs and Border Protection. Upon the importation of a yacht, additional agencies (such as the EPA) are automatically notified to request more information.

According to EPA Form 3520-21 (March 2017), the regulations apply to all engines in non-road applications, both diesel (compression ignition) and gasoline (spark ignition). Different compliance categories are organized by yacht displacement and/or horsepower. Most newer yachts built in Europe already meet these requirements if they have a CE mark, but the paperwork will still be requested from the EPA at the time of import.

These regulations do not affect visiting yachts, nor do they affect non-US citizens UNLESS the yacht is permanently imported into the USA (i.e., if the yacht is brought to the USA by a foreign national to be sold in the USA).

The EPA form and rules can be found here:

To read a summary of the compliance rules:

Related to following destinations:

Related to the following Cruising Resources:

You must Login or Register to submit comments.