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Important Information for Car Seat owners

We would highlight that the issue below is very much one for your personal estimate and action as you see fit. The information below is provided to aid you in this decision making process.

Recently, a member of the British community raised the question of whether car seats purchased in the US met UK safety standards. We immediately approached the SACT Legal department for advice, who in turn contacted the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), Virginia Beach Fire Department Administration Office and AAA of Tidewater.

We can now confirm from the Virginia Department of Health that there is a prohibition of UK manufactured child safety seats in the USA and this has been further ratified by other authorities.

As child seats are defined as “motor vehicle equipment”, iaw Federal regulations , 49 U.S.C. §30112a:
“a person may not manufacture for sale, sell, offer for sale, introduce or deliver for introduction in interstate commerce, or import into the United States, any motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment manufactured on or after the date an applicable motor vehicle safety standard prescribed under this chapter takes effect unless the vehicle or equipment complies with the standard and is covered by a certification issued under section 30115 of this title.”

USA Support Group – Tidewater advice:
Contact your insurance company and ask them if there is any impact on the cover of your insurance if your child is in a safety seat that has been imported from the UK.

Safety seats manufactured for the USA market must meet US motor vehicle safety standards and Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. You may also wish to contact the safety seat manufacturer and seek advice over which safety standards your seat has been built. (BRITAX (a British company) make safety seats for US market, certified to US standards).
The legal department are in the process of drafting a section regarding Child Car Seats for the next edition of the Relocation Guide for NATO Personnel. The USA Support Group(Tidewater) New Arrivals Aide Memoire is also being amended to ensure personnel preparing for their tour in the USA are also aware of these safety concerns.

This is also a concern when returning to the UK at the end of your tour, where it is likely that car seats purchased in the USA will not conform to the BSA safety standards set in the UK, or required by UK car insurance companies.