Black Book: Emissions Certification Guidance

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download SEMA Black BookDear SEMA Member,

Over the years, SEMA has received many requests from members seeking information about Federal and State emissions compliance requirements. In many cases, there has been confusion about the process by which requirements can be met and Executive Orders (E.O.s) from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) are issued for applicable parts and systems. In the past, SEMA has provided information and outlined compliance steps. However, we’ve learned there are ways to further simplify the process. So, to assist our members in understanding the requirements and to identify ways to minimize both cost and time in reaching compliance status, we’ve collected information that addresses these issues in a very user-friendly way.

Where appropriate, we note website links to help you get first-hand information from various compliance-related sources. In many ways, the CARB website is very useful for this purpose. Other times, we’ve shared simplified steps based on years of assisting members as they complete their E.O. requirements. Experience has shown that obtainment of a CARB E.O. typically allows the sale of applicable emissions-related parts and systems outside the State of California. The Environmental Protection Agency also has a requirement (Memorandum 1A) that requires manufacturers have a reasonable basis for concluding their products do not adversely affect the emissions of the vehicles on which they are to be installed. Currently, the EPA recognizes an E.O. as meeting the required “reasonable basis.” In fact, the EPA has stated, “Generally, the testing required for a CARB E.O. is the same as the testing required under Memo 1A because the test procedures are essentially the same.”

Download the SEMA Black Book by clicking ADD TO CART. If you have any questions about the information provided, need to identify the proper CARB staff person(s) or want to contact me with specific concerns, I can be reached at (901) 377-1210 or by email.

Jim McFarland,
SEMA Technical Consultant

The material posted on this site is intended as a guide to emissions certification of specialty automotive aftermarket parts. The guide attempts to simplify the detailed process for achieving emissions > compliance status with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which are the only authority for the programs referenced herein. The material is designed to expedite the process by which SEMA members can gain parts certification. Please note that the information contained herein is intended for reference only and that CARB/EPA regulations are subject to change. Please consult the appropriate regulations to ensure the accuracy of the information contained within this volume.


SEMA has relied upon several federal and state resources to collect the material but disclaims any responsibility for the contents. SEMA also disclaims any responsibility for any claims that might result from reliance on the contents of the posted material. These materials are not intended to provide legal advice. Compliance with the CARB and EPA regulations should be undertaken in consultation with competent counsel.

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