40 CFR 85.2305 - Duration and applicability of certificates of conformity.
(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, a certificate of conformity is deemed to be effective and cover the vehicles or engines named in such certificate and produced during the annual production period, as defined in § 85.2304.
(b) Section 203 of the Clean Air Act prohibits the sale, offering for sale, delivery for introduction into commerce, and introduction into commerce, of any new vehicle or engine not covered by a certificate of conformity unless it is an imported vehicle exempted by the Administrator or otherwise authorized jointly by EPA and U.S. Customs Service regulations. However, the Act does not prohibit the production of vehicles or engines without a certificate of conformity. Vehicles or engines produced prior to the effective date of a certificate of conformity, as defined in paragraph (a) of this section, may also be covered by the certificate if the following conditions are met:
(1) The vehicles or engines conform in all material respects to the vehicles or engines described in the application for the certificate of conformity:
(2) The vehicles or engines are not sold, offered for sale, introduced into commerce, or delivered for introduction into commerce prior to the effective date of the certificate of conformity;
(3) The Agency is notified prior to the beginning of production when such production will start, and the Agency is provided full opportunity to inspect and/or test the vehicles during and after their production; for example, the Agency must have the opportunity to conduct selective enforcement auditing production line testing as if the vehicles had been produced after the effective date of the certificate.
(c) New vehicles or engines imported by an original equipment manufacturer after December 31 of the calendar year for which the model year was named are still covered by the certificate of conformity as long as the production of the vehicle or engine was completed before December 31 of that year. This paragraph does not apply to vehicles that may be covered by certificates held by independent commercial importers unless specifically approved by EPA.
(d) Vehicles or engines produced after December 31 of the calendar year for which the model year is named are not covered by the certificate of conformity for that model year. A new certificate of conformity demonstrating compliance with currently applicable standards must be obtained for these vehicles or engines even if they are identical to vehicles or engines built before December 31.
(e) The extended coverage period described here for a certificate of conformity (i.e., up to one year plus 364 days) is primarily intended to allow flexibility in the introduction of new models. Under no circumstances should it be interpreted that existing models may “skip” yearly certification by pulling ahead the production of every other model year.