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NHTSA Letter of Interpretation: FMVSS Interpretation

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Motorcycles Topics:  Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards

NHTSA Letter of Interpretation: FMVSS Interpretation

From: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
To: Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, Inc.
December 13, 1967

DATE: 12/13/67


TO: Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, Inc.


TEXT: In your letter to me dated November 25, you have raised several questions relating to the status of Japanese motorcycles manufactured after December 31, 1967, and shipped to the United States without windshields.

Specifically you have stated:

"1. Is the . . . understanding (correct) that the importation of motorcycles not equipped with windowshields and/or any glazing material will not violate the . . . National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966."

Answer: Your understanding is correct. Motorcycles are not required to be equipped with windshields, and conformity to Initial Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 205 is required only if motorcycles are equipped with windshields.

"2. In case motor cycles without glazing material are imported, what shall motorcycle manufacturers do in respect to certificate requirements according to Paragraph 114 of the Act and the Notice of October 31, 1967."

Answer: No certification is required for motorcycles which are imported without glazing materials.

"3. If certification is not required for motorcycles not equipped with glazing material, would there be any problem at the time of importation at U.S. Customs offices that may naturally seek safety certification on all motor vehicles covered by the Federal Standards."

Answer: Under the proposed joint regulations promulgated by the Treasury Department (Bureau of Customs) and the Department of Transportation covering importation of motor vehicles manufactured after December 31, 1967, vehicles not bearing certification will be admitted upon a declaration by the importer or(Illegible Word) that such vehicle was manufactured on a date when no standards applicable to the vehicle were in effect. To insure that there is no difficulty at the port of entry, it is contemplated that Customs officials will be notified that motorcycles without windshields may be admitted without certification. The proposed joint regulations were published in the Federal Register for November 30, 1967, and I enclose a copy for your consideration.

You have further asked: "Would there be any particular procedures that could be taken by Japanese motorcycle manufacturers in advance to avoid such a possibility."

Answer: If the motorcycles are shipped in a manner in which they are not readily visible, it might be advisable to atencil the shipping containers with a legend to the effect that the motor vehicle therein is not subject to the Federal motor vehicle safety standards (i.e., a motorcycle not equipped with a windshield).

Of course, any glazing material shipped for subsequent installation on a motorcycle must bear appropriate certification.

I hope this sufficiently answers your questions.

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