Arthur N. Arschin, Esq.
Attorney at Law
450 Seventh Avenue, Suite 2803
New York, NY 10123
Re: Union Autoparts Manufacturing
Dear Mr. Arschin:
Please pardon the delay in responding to your letter requesting DOT identification numbers for Union Autoparts Manufacturing Company, Ltd.(Union). Please be advised that Union is not required to have a DOT identification number, as discussed below.
You stated that Union, a Thailand company, manufactures steel wheel rims for motorcycles and bicycles, as well as steel spokes and steel nipples for motorcycle and bicycle tires. Union wants to export some of its wheel rims and parts to the U.S. and for that purpose, wants to obtain DOT identification numbers for their rims. You further stated that Union's motorcycle rims bear the words "Union Cycle" on the weather side, and that bicycle rims are marked "UAB." Finally, you stated that you have been designated Union's resident agent in the U.S. for the service of process.
Unless equipped with a motor, bicycles and bicycle equipment are not covered by the Federal motor vehicle safety standards. Thus, a DOT identification number is not necessary for importation and sale of bicycles and related equipment. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued regulations relating to bicycles, however, which can be found at 16 CFR 1512, including requirements for tires (1512.10), wheels (1512.11), and wheel hubs (1512.13).
With respect to motorcycle rims, paragraph S5.2 of Standard No. 120, Tire Selection and Rims for Motor Vehicles Other Than Passenger Cars (49 CFR 571.120), specifies rim marking requirements applicable to all rims for use on motor vehicles other than passenger cars. Subparagraph (d) requires rims to be marked with "A designation that identifies the manufacturer of the rim by name, trademark, or symbol." This information allows this agency and the public to identify the manufacturer of the rim should the need arise. The use of a trademark or symbol instead of the manufacturer's name is permitted because the agency can determine the identity of the manufacturer from the trademark or symbol. Domestic manufacturers' trademarks and symbols are registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Foreign manufacturers are required by 49 CFR 551.45 to include in their resident agent designations a list of the "marks, trade names, or other designations of origin" that appear on any of their products in lieu of their legal names. Thus, the assignment of an individual DOT identification code, as the agency does for tire manufacturers, is not required for rim manufacturers. In that respect, Union's continued use of "Union Cycle" and "UAB" is acceptable.
It should be noted, however, that in accordance with 49 CFR Part 566, Manufacturer Identification (copy enclosed), if it has not already done so, Union will be required to provide NHTSA the information called for therein.
I hope this information is helpful to you. Should you have any further questions or need additional information, please feel free to contact Walter Myers of my staff at this address or by fax at (202) 366-2992.
Acting Chief Counsel