Legislative and Technical Affairs

Law and Order

New Jersey Street Rods

New Jersey Street Rods/Customs: A version of SEMA-model legislation that would create a vehicle registration classification for street rods and replica custom vehicles and provide for special license plates for those vehicles remains pending in the New Jersey Assembly. The bill defines a street rod as an altered vehicle manufactured before 1948 and a custom as an altered vehicle at least 25 years old and manufactured after 1948. The bill allows a kit car or replica vehicle to be assigned a certificate of title bearing the same model-year designation that the body of the vehicle most closely resembles.

Law and Order

Alibaba and CounterfeitingSEMA submitted a letter to the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) requesting Alibaba be included on the 2016 Notorious Markets List, which is used to identify markets based outside the United States that are known to facilitate copyright piracy or trademark counterfeiting. Alibaba is consistently identified by SEMA members as a market used by counterfeiters to move large volumes of unauthorized knockoff products. As stated in SEMA’s letter, “it appears that Alibaba has failed to adopt a business model committed to the distribution and sale of licensed or legitimate products.” The USTR is expected to publish its most recent Notorious Markets List by the end of 2016.

Save Our Race Cars!

Save Our Race CarsThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues to assert authority under the Clean Air Act to regulate the modification of vehicles used for competition. Fortunately, a bipartisan bill pending in the U.S. Congress—the Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports (RPM) Act—would settle this debate once and for all. The RPM Act makes it clear that modifying a street vehicle used solely for competition is legal and beyond the reach of EPA regulations.

Late to PROM

Vehicle SoftwareGearheads have been dealing with vehicle software since the early ’80s, when microcontroller chips were installed to facilitate the shift from carburation to electronic fuel-injection technology. Swapping out the chips in these vehicles quickly became a preferred method for improving engine performance.

Meet the Supporters of the RPM Act

In the months since the legislation was introduced, support for the RPM Act in Congress has grown tremendously. The legislation remains essential to the future of motorsports. Despite recently withdrawing language from a proposed regulation, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues to claim that it has the authority to regulate street cars modified exclusively for the track. If the EPA decided to enforce this authority, it would have a devastating impact on businesses that supply motorsports products, jeopardizing the jobs and communities the industry supports.

The Inside Scoop on the RPM Act

Scoop on the RPM ActWhile the term “lobbyist” may, in certain circles, conjure a less-than-flattering image of Gucci shoes, limitless expense accounts and golf vacations to Scotland, I can assure you as SEMA’s congressional affairs manager that this image bears little resemblance to the day-to-day life advocating for SEMA and its members. In their purest form, lobbyists represent companies and hard-working Americans before lawmakers and regulators. These advocates serve an important role in the lawmaking process by providing issue-specific expertise and explaining the impact and unintended consequences of legislation or proposed regulations to members of Congress and their staffs.


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