Background to Entry Type 86

In 2019, CBP operationalized the Entry Type 86 Test. This is a voluntary test that makes it possible for self-filers and customs brokers to submit de minimis value entries through the Automated Broker Interface (ABI).

It is important to note that these will usually include goods that are subject to data requirements from Partner Government Agencies (PGA). This means that such goods can then be cleared without one having to pay taxes and duties. 

However, it is important to note that all PGA flagged (EP3) de minimis value shipments are subject to Partner Agency requirements and have to be compliant with PGA guidance before they are cleared.

CBP guides PGA policy on exemptions due to the declared value, how to file PGA data into ACE when using a type 86 entry type, and policies on personal effects and returned American goods. 

Importing Small Engines Products using Type 86

While an importer can import small engines into the United States using Type 86 entry if they meet the de minimis entry requirements, you have to ensure that they are compliant with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requirements. 

According to the Clean Air Act, an importer cannot bring into the United States any motor vehicle engine, motor vehicle, non-road equipment, or engine which is not in compliance with the EPA emission requirements and standards.

These standards are applied to all engines and vehicles including imported non-road engines, heavy-duty engines, recreational vehicles, and motor vehicles whether they are used or new, whether manufactured abroad or domestically.

Nonconforming Vehicles and Engines

While the EPA as a partner government agency regulates the importation of any vehicles, there are exceptions to the strict rules. 

Vehicles and engines may be imported without having to be subjected to strict compliance under the following circumstances:

If they are Certified

Importers may bring in nonconforming vehicles if they have been certified, tested, and modified by an Independent Commercial Importer. 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has regulations that allow importers to bring engines and vehicles temporarily into the United States under what is referred to as U.S. Customs and Border Protection Bond 

Under the regulations, importers can bring in vehicles and engines if they qualify for an exemption under the rules set out by the EPA. 

By Exemption

Customs and EPAs regulations allow importers to temporarily import non-conforming engines and vehicles with EPA preapproval. These may be allowed entry into the United States for the following purposes:

  • By Exemption
  • Racing/Competition
  • Testing
  • Non-resident
  • Display
  • Alteration or Repair

It is critical to note that as an importer, shipping non-conforming engines or vehicles to the United States will require you to comply with a couple of regulations. Some of the requirements include:

  1. Importers need to make plans with an independent commercial importer for certification, testing, and modification or
  2. Obtain pre-approval from the EPA for the above-listed exemptions

Importation of Vehicles or Engines Older than 21 Years

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) interprets the requirement to mean that the engine on a vehicle needs to be identical to what was originally installed on the vehicle upon manufacture. 

The engine in the vehicle are ones that are of the same configuration and same model as the original engine installed into a vehicle or non-road equipment. 

Importers that need to wish to take advantage of the 21-year-old engine provision need to contact the Imports Hotline of the EPA before importing such vehicles or engines to ensure that they meet the equivalence requirements. 

Importers can usually reach the Imports Hotline by calling 734-214-4100 or writing an email to

Importers are also encouraged to read everything about the Procedures for Importing Vehicles and Engines regulations and policies from the EPA website. The document provides detailed information on everything you need to know about importing non-conforming engines and vehicles. 

P.S. While an importer may believe they qualify for an exemption, it is critical to note that the EPA or the Customs and Border Protection agency may export or seize any goods without valid EPA exemptions or the requisite Independent Commercial Importer Arrangements or a valid EPA exemption. 

The PGAs may also levy penalties and fines for importing vehicles and engines without compliance with the regulations. 

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