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CBP Seizes Faulty Hair Dryers

Release Date: 
August 15, 2014

Electric shock, electrocution or fire hazard could result from use

HOUSTON – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers have seized nearly 5,000 hair dryers as the required Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters that protect consumers from electrical shock or electrocution hazards were missing.

Dryer Cord without Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) seized 5,000 hair dryers recently that were determined to constitute a “substantial product hazard” under U.S. law, for failing to have adequate Ground-Fault Circuit interrupters.

The hair dryers, which originated from China, have a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of almost $330,000.

“This seizure is the latest example of the vigilance and attention to detail our officers pay to protect consumers from imported goods that pose a dangerous risk,” said CBP Houston Area Port Director Dave Fluty.

During an examination of the shipment, officers found the dryers missing the immersion protection plug and bearing a suspect trademark logo.  Officers coordinated with Consumer Product Safety Commission and with the CBP Intellectual Property Rights Rights Branch, Regulations and Rulings, Office of International Trade to verify authenticity.

Hair Dryer seized by CBP

Hair dryer seized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Port of Houston.

The CBP IPR Branch confirmed the products were counterfeit, and a CPSC evaluation of product samples concluded the required immersion protection plug was missing resulting in the seizure of the entire shipment that contained more than 400 boxes of the faulty articles.

According to CPSC, consumers should look for a large, rectangular-shaped plug at the end of the hair dryer cord indicating the presence of a GFCI. The certification mark of a recognized testing laboratory should also be visible on the hair dryer or on the hair dryer's packaging.