Namely, EPA found companies imported engines and vehicles without certification or proper emissions controls. Engines operating without the necessary controls produce excess carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, and nitrogen oxides. These can cause respiratory illnesses, aggravate asthma, and lead to the formation of ground level ozone. These cases involved five companies.

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In addition to the five companies above, EPA found another 19 companies imported 4,882 illegal products from China, including motorcycles, scooters, marine engines, ATVs, generators, engines and jackhammers. The companies paid fines totaling $167,199 and were ordered to ship the items out of the US.

EPA has been performing regular inspections with CBP at California ports of entry since 2014, where more than 40% of containerized goods come into the US EPA and CBP’s focus has been on engines, vehicles, and pesticides.

Mobile sources, such as on-road and off-road vehicles, are one the largest sources of air pollution in California and account for about 20% of PM2.5 and 83% of nitrogen oxide emissions.

The Clean Air Act does not allow the importation or sale of any new engines or vehicles unless they are certified by EPA to meet federal emission standards. An EPA-issued certificate of conformity must cover every vehicle and engine sold in the US.

To obtain a certificate of conformity, manufacturers or importers must submit an application to EPA that describes the engine or vehicle, including its emission control system. The application must also provide emissions data showing that the engines and vehicles will meet applicable federal emission standards.