Importing A Truck Engine To The US – Crucial Things To Know

Did you know that you can replace the engine of your truck? Several reasons can make you do this. If your engine is old and cannot function normally, your mechanic will advise you to buy a new one. When your engine is damaged beyond repair, replacing it is an option or if you require an engine with more torque and horsepower. Various dealers sell new sets of engines. Occasionally, you might need to import an engine. In the case of importation, sourcing an engine from the dealer is cheap compared to dealing with intermediaries. Importing a truck engine to the United States is not hectic if you conform to the procedures.

First-time importers need to know and understand the Environmental protection Agency (EPA) and Independent Commercial Importer(ICI).

Roles of EPA and ICI in Importing A Truck Engine 

EPA is an independent agency mandated to protect the environment. In playing its role of protecting the environment, EPA has rules and regulations regarding the importation of vehicle engines. The body does not allow the importation of engines that do not meet its requirements to the United States.

Under EPA regulations, you can import a non-conforming engine if;

They are modified, and the Independent Commercial Importer (ICI)  has tested and certified them to be standard. EPA mandates the U.S. Customs to import non – conforming vehicles for particular purposes such as testing, display, or racing.

Before you import a truck engine to the united states, organize with the ICI for modification, testing, and certification of the engine and obtain EPA approval for non-conforming engine importation. Doing these will allow you to clear your engine at the port when it arrives.

Under EPA’s regulations, the engine you are importing must be similar to your truck’s current engine. That is, the configuration and the model of the new engine should match the old one.

You must complete the EPA form 3520-1 when planning to import an engine. Upon duly filling this form, you can submit it electronically, or it can accompany your goods. It applies to all types of engines, from motorcycles to heavy commercial engines.

In case the engine you intend to import does not meet the U.S emission standards, you will seek the services of an Independent Commercial Importer. ICI is a body certified by EPA to legally import vehicles and other spare parts such the engines into the United States. Before importing, ICI will ensure the engine meets the EPA’s requirements.

Hardship Exemption for Non-U.S. Version Engines

EPA gives special consideration to the engines imported to the U.S under extraordinary circumstances or extreme hardships. For example, if the importer has physical or mental disabilities. Or if the importer is an armed forces officer working in the U.S. security department.


Importing a truck engine to the United States is easy if you only conform to the rules and regulations. Failure to observe even a single law might lead to confiscation of your engine. If you are importing an engine for the first time, consider doing thorough research so that you don’t blame yourself when the authorities confiscate your engine.

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