Under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA), as amended, an importer is a manufacturer. Therefore, an importer is held to the same standard as a domestic manufacturer -- just as though the importer had built the product(s) it imports. These FAQs are designed to help an importer identify key issues to consider to ensure compliance with the energy and water conservation standards for consumer products and commercial and industrial equipment. In these Q&As, the term "original equipment manufacturer" or "OEM" is used to refer to the party that produces, builds, or assembles the product but not the importer.
See the list of covered products and equipment. For more specific information, consult the relevant definitions in 10 CFR Parts 430 (consumer products) and 431 (commercial and industrial equipment). You should also note whether the covered product is subject to a energy or water conservation standard. Some types of covered equipment will become subject to standards in the future but may not be subject to standards at this time.
BEFORE IMPORTING: 2. If the product is covered and subject to conservation standards, has it been tested in accordance with the DOE test procedure?
Ask the party supplying you with the product and/or the original equipment manufacturer (OEM). The relevant test procedure is identified in 10 CFR Part 430 or 431. Note that non-DOE test procedures may generate different results.
If you cannot confirm that the product has been tested using DOE's test procedures, you may have to have the product tested. As the importer of the product, you are responsible for ensuring compliance with the regulations.
Ask for test data to confirm. The applicable standards are listed in 10 CFR 430.32 or in 10 CFR Part 431. Importers are required to maintain test data underlying a certification of compliance. 10 CFR 429.71.
BEFORE IMPORTING: 4. If the product meets the standard, have you, the importer, certified the compliance of the product to DOE?
You can submit a certification report yourself, or you can have a third-party submit the report on your behalf.
Even if the OEM has submitted a certification report, that report may not apply to your imports. You, the importer, must have submitted an authorization for the OEM to submit the certification report on your behalf AND the OEM must have identified you on the certification report as the importer.
CCMS stands for the Compliance Certification Management System. Importers and domestic manufacturers submit reports certifying the compliance of their products through CCMS. It is both a system for submitting and tracking reports and a public database of products that have been certified. Importers, domestic manufacturers, and third party representatives must complete forms to use CCMS. DOE provides a public database of products that have been certified. Listing in the database does not indicate the products are, in fact, compliant or legal for you to import.
DOE provides preformatted, standardized, product-specific Excel templates. Complete the applicable template(s) for the type(s) of product or equipment you import. Each template has an “Input” tab for model-specific information and a “Certification” tab for company/contact information as well as the legal certification that the listed basic models comply with all applicable energy conservation standards. When complete, upload the completed templates to your new CCMS account.
If a third party submits certification reports on your behalf, you may want to ask to see the report(s) that it has submitted.
If you are going to submit a certification report, you first need a CCMS account. Complete and submit a user registration form by scanning and e-mailing a signed copy to firstname.lastname@example.org. Once the form is received, DOE’s contractor will contact the user to complete the registration process.
If you are going to authorize a third party to submit a certification report, you first need to complete a third-party authorization form. Either you or your third-party submitter may submit the completed third-party authorization form. You do not need a CCMS account; however, your third-party submitter will need to complete a user registration form to get an account, if it does not already have one. Your third-party submitter will complete the appropriate template(s) for the products you import and will upload the completed templates using its CCMS account. You are still responsible for ensuring that the products are certified prior to importing them into the U.S.
You should ask for test data before certifying that the product is compliant. You may also want to inquire about the processes the OEM has in place to ensure the product is compliant. Were the test results from prototypes or units coming off the manufacturing line? Does the OEM routinely sample units coming off the line to ensure consistency? Does the OEM ever do random sampling after shipment or are units selected by the factory? You, the importer, are responsible for the compliance of the products you import with the energy/water conservation standards.