Under 49 U.S.C. § 30112(a), a person may not permanently import into the United States a motor vehicle manufactured after the date that an applicable Federal motor vehicle safety standard (FMVSS) takes effect unless the vehicle complies with the standard and is so certified by its original manufacturer. This prohibition applies to both new and used motor vehicles, but does not apply to motor vehicles that are at least 25 years old (based on the date that the vehicle was manufactured).
All eligibility numbers are for left-hand drive motor vehicles except where the initials "RHD," signifying right-hand drive, appear in the model type column. While there is no specific restriction on importing a right-hand drive vehicle, these may not be imported under eligibility decisions based on the existence of substantially similar U.S.-certified left-hand drive vehicles. Our experience has shown that the safety performance of right-hand drive vehicles is not necessarily the same as that of apparently similar left-hand drive vehicles offered for sale in this country. However, we will consider the vehicles "substantially similar" if the manufacturer advises us that the right-hand drive vehicle would perform the same as the U.S.-certified left-hand drive vehicle in dynamic crash tests. Absent such a showing, the RI would have to demonstrate (through a petition) that the vehicle, when modified, would comply with all applicable Federal motor vehicle safety standards, including those for which dynamic crash testing is prescribed.