National Highway Traffic Safety Administration August 26, 2005 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents
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Retroactive Certification of Commercial Motor Vehicles by Motor Vehicle Manufacturers
This document completes NHTSA's consideration of its responsibilities to help implement the obligations of the United States under the North American Free Trade Agreement. The agency had proposed regulations to permit retroactive certification of foreign domiciled vehicles that, while built in compliance with U.S. standards applicable at the time of manufacture, had not been labelled as such. At the same time, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration had proposed to require all commercial motor vehicles operating in the U.S. to have labels certifying compliance with the Federal motor vehicle safety standards (FMVSS). After reviewing the comments on the NHTSA and FMCSA proposals, the Department has decided on a more effective and less cumbersome approach to ensuring that commercial motor vehicles were built to the FMVSS (or the very similar Canadian motor vehicle safety standards) and operate safely in the United States. FMCSA requires Mexican-domiciled carriers applying to operate in the United States to certify in their applications that their vehicles were manufactured or retrofitted in compliance with the FMVSSs applicable at the time they were built, and will confirm that certification during the pre-authority safety audit and subsequent inspections. In addition, enforcement through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations focuses on real world, operational safety and incorporates the various FMVSS applicable through the useful life of the vehicle. FMCSA will not require vehicles to have labels certifying their compliance with the standards in effect when they were built, and NHTSA is not proceeding with a retroactive certification approach or the related proposal for a new recordkeeping and retention rule. We have also decided against placing a definition of the term ``import'' in the Code of Federal Regulations. After considering the comments, we have concluded that creating a new regulation to define the term serves no regulatory function and is unnecessary for the promotion of motor vehicle safety.