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CBP and French Customs Officials Seize Controlled Substance

Release Date: 
April 18, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Center for Excellence and Expertise (CEE) in New York City along with the French Fake Medicines Observatory intercepted a shipment, 400 pills, of Carisoprodol, a Schedule IV controlled substance.

"The collaborative efforts of CBP's Pharmaceuticals, Health & Chemicals CEE and the French Customs Fake Medicines Observatory (FMO) demonstrates that international partnerships are a force multiplier in the battle to prevent the importation of dangerous pharmaceutical products," said David J. Murphy, acting assistant commissioner, office of field operations. "The importation of safe pharmaceutical products is a top priority for CBP and our French Customs partners."

"In this globalized world, improving the close cooperation we have with U.S. CBP Center for Excellence and Expertise of New York since the very beginning is major for us. By creating a network of customs specialists we can be more efficient in fighting against fake medicine trafficking and organized crime," said François Richard, French Customs Attaché in Washington D.C.

This seizure represents the international enforcement information sharing that has been a goal of CBP and the Pharmaceuticals, Health & Chemicals CEE. Among the CEE's most effective efforts has been with its counterparts in French Customs, specifically their FMO. Based on information obtained from French Customs, on March 6 the CEE identified and intercepted an incoming shipment suspected of carrying unapproved pharmaceutical products. Examination of the package revealed that it contained a sizable quantity of Carisoprodol, a Schedule IV controlled substance. The shipment was seized by CBP personnel.

These virtual centers provide one-stop processing to lower the trade's cost of business, provide greater consistency and predictability and enhance CBP enforcement efforts. The Centers represent CBP's expanded focus on "Trade in the 21st Century," transforming customs procedures to align with modern business. The CEEs will also serve as resources to the broader trade community and to CBP's U.S. government partners.

CBP currently operates centers for Electronics in Long Beach; Pharmaceuticals, Health & Chemicals in New York City; Automotive & Aerospace in Detroit; and Petroleum, Natural Gas & Minerals in Houston.

CBP announced on April 18 the opening of three new centers for Base Metals; Industrial & Manufacturing Materials; and Machinery industries. CBP plans to open three more centers in 2013 for the Agriculture & Prepared Products; Apparel, Footwear & Textiles; and Consumer Products & Mass Merchandising industries.

Carisoprodol, also known as Soma, is a muscle relaxer that works by blocking pain sensations between the nerves and the brain. On December 12, 2011, the Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration issued the final ruling placing the substance Carisoprodol into Schedule IV of the Controlled Substances Act. This is effective January 11, 2012.