Luxury sedans such as Toyota’s Lexus and Mercedes Benz S-Class will be easier to import, especially from the US, with the government doing away with safety and emission certificates from the ‘country of origin’ but the vehicles must comply with European standards.

A new imported vehicle with FOB (freight-onboard) value of $40,000 or more with over 3,000cc for petrol- run engine and over 2,500cc for diesel engine would be eligible for the easier norms, the directorate general of Foreign Trade said in a notification.

Under the relaxed rules, imported vehicles which need homologation to make it suitable for Indian conditions , need not have a certification from an authorised body in the country of origin, as was required earlier. But, they need to comply with EU standards. Industry experts say the move will help companies like Toyota, which can now import its Lexus brand, and Mercedes Benz to bring its S-Class.

US does not have a nationalized certification authority and makes import of vehicles cumbersome. At the time of customs clearance, a Type Approval Certificate of a global accredited agency from the country of origin would be required.