Customs Grabs $1.5 Million in Powersports Units


10 CFMOTO Containers Tied Up

EPA Violations Claimed

U.S. Customs officials in Dallas last week grabbed more than 1,400 motorcycles and scooters, claiming they violated EPA regulations. About 400 hundred of those units belong to CFMOTO Powersports, Inc., the distributor based in suburban Minneapolis. They’re worth about $1.5 million at retail.

The move by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) people has cost CFMOTO more than $100,000 in storage fees alone, and the company also could be hit with penalties and legal fees, says Lev Mirman, president of CFMOTO’s operations in the U.S.  “This is absolutely crazy at a time when scooter sales are down 75% from last year and cash is very tight,” says Mirman.

When I spoke with Mirman this week, he was really hot, pointing out that his vehicles all have passed EPA certification tests at EPA approved labs. He says he holds four certificates that cost him more than $20,000 each. “We follow every EPA rule,” he says.

Mirman claims the grab is a move by the feds to block the sale of Chinese-made products. “They had a big push in the Dallas port to get as many Chinese bikes arrestedas possible, so they made issues out of nothing just to get their numbers up,” he told me.

Apparently, the EPA claims the machines have an illegal idle air mixture screw in the carburetor. Mirman maintains that there are no testing requirements for this in the official EPA procedures, nor are there any issues from increased pollution from this. “The EPA and CBP are grasping at straws to halt any shipment from China,” he says.

“It would make no sense for us not to comply with such silly things that EPA is nitpicking on,” argues Mirman. “If only EPA let us know exactly what it is that they want. Instead of giving us guidelines, they are playing a “gotcha” game, where all of a sudden they would start enforcing some obscure regulation that they never cared about in the past. Our bikes have been inspected by enforcement agents multiple times in the past and at no time did they tell us about any issues with the idle screws.” JD

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2 Responses to “Customs Grabs $1.5 Million in Powersports Units”

  1. michael milstaed Says:

    I am amazed at the lack of good judgement when there are plenty for customs to really do to those who are breaking the law to site CF Moto who by the way have an excellent product and has all their ducks in a row when there are so many copy cat scooters out where CF Moto is the one being copied that are not EPA approved. Where CF Moto follows the law to the tee you only have to go on Ebay and found hundreds that do not and sell so cheap because they are not EPA approved or carb approved and fall into the consumers hand who knows no better.

  2. StJoeMoRider Says:

    Idle air mixture screws have been sealed for what seems like forever, that has been a EPA mandate.

    The machines did not meet the requirements, and that potentially puts them at an unfair advantage in the marketplace (lower cost), as well as violating our current clean air laws, be them right or wrong.

    Ignorance of the law is no excuse, I applaud our customs department and frown on those that try to bully them.


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