Mr. Frank Johnson
Executive Vice President
Nichirin Co., Ltd.
139 Copernicus Blvd.
Brantford, Ontario
N3P 1N4

Dear Mr. Johnson:

This responds to your letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Office of Crash Avoidance Standards, asking about Standard No. 106, Brake hoses, for vacuum brake hoses. Your letter was referred to my office for reply. I apologize for the delay in the agency's response.

According to your letter, your company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Nichirin Co. Ltd. Japan. Your company manufactures and sells vacuum brake hoses and assemblies to vehicle manufacturers, including Honda.

You state that the "current registered trademark" (which we understand to be the manufacturer's designation required by S9.1 of Standard 106) that is imprinted on one brake hose end fitting is "NNI." The hose is marked "NCRN," which is the designation registered with NHTSA for your parent company. You are currently supplying vacuum brake hoses to Honda that are manufactured in Japan with the NCRN designation. In the future, you plan to have the bulk hose "licensed to a USA based hose manufacturer who [you] will buy it from, assemble valves, clips, etc. and supply it to Honda."

You first ask whether you need to register a designation for vacuum brake hose assemblies under S9.1.3 of Standard 106, even though you have "NNI" registered for hydraulic brake hose assemblies. The answer is no. Because you already are registered for hydraulic brake hose assemblies, you do not need to register again with NHTSA. The purpose of registering your designation with the agency is to help us identify you in case of a recall resulting from a safety-related defect or a noncompliance. Please note that we have examined a sample product you submitted which does not appear to be a "brake hose assembly" as defined in Standard No. 106 because it has clamps only, and no end fittings. Therefore, it is not required to be labeled in accordance with S9.1.3 of Standard No. 106.

You then ask whether you or the licensee would be considered the manufacturer of the hose for purposes of registering the manufacturer's designation. You note that the hose is to be manufactured under license to your material and manufacturing specifications. I have enclosed a May 12, 1994 letter to Russell Performance Products which addresses the same issue. As the agency explained in that interpretation, only the licensee's designation is required to be marked, since the licensee is the entity that will actually manufacture the brake hose. Such a designation will identify the licensee as the manufacturer of the brake hose in the event of a possible defect or noncompliance with the hose.

Please note that HBD Industries (HBD), the proposed licensee, has not registered a designation with the agency. Therefore, HBD should file its planned designation with NHTSA's Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance.

I have also enclosed copies of two procedural requirements you must satisfy in order to sell your products in this country. The first requirement is NHTSA's regulation for manufacturer identification (49 CFR Part 566). This regulation requires a manufacturer of equipment to which an FMVSS applies (e.g., brake hoses) to submit its name, address, and a brief description of the items of equipment it manufacturers to NHTSA within 30 days after it first imports its products into the United States.

The second requirement is NHTSA's regulation for designations of agents (49 CFR Part 551, Procedural Rules, Subpart D). The regulation requires all manufacturers headquartered outside of the United States to designate a permanent resident of the United States as the manufacturer's agent for service of all process, notices, orders and decisions. This designation should be mailed to me at the following address: Chief Counsel, Room 5219, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 400 Seventh St., S.W., Washington, D.C., 20590. The designation must include the following information:

  1. A certification that the designation of agent is valid in form and binding on the manufacturer under the laws, corporate-by-laws, or other requirements governing the making of the designation at the time and place where it is made;

  2. The full legal name, principal place of business and mailing address of the manufacturer;

  3. Marks, trade names, or other designations of origin of any of the manufacturer's products which do not bear its name;

  4. A statement that the designation shall remain in effect until withdrawn or replaced by the manufacturer;

  5. A declaration of acceptance duly signed by the agency appointed, which may be an individual, a firm or a United States corporation; and,

  6. The full legal name and address of the designated agent.

  7. In addition, the designation must be signed by a person with authority to appoint the agent. The signer's name and title should be clearly indicated beneath his or her signature.

I hope this information is helpful. If you have further questions, please contact Mr. Marvin Shaw of this office at (202) 366-2992.

John Womack
Acting Chief Counsel