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Baltimore CBP Seizes Children’s Activity Cubes as Potential Choking Hazard

Release Date: 
January 25, 2018

BALTIMORE – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) teamed with the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) in Baltimore recently to seize nearly 2,000 packages of children’s mini activity cubes because individual parts of the activity cubes posed potential choking hazards to children.

CBP officers seized these children's toys January 15, 2018 as potential choking hazards.
CBP officers seized these children's toys
January 15, 2018 as potential choking hazards.

The toys, valued at more than $5,600, were shipped from Hong Kong and destined for an address in Harrisburg, Pa.  Baltimore CBP officers examined the shipment and submitted samples to CPSC.  CPSC tested the activity cubes and determined that the toys violated the small parts requirement of the Federal Hazardous Substances Act [15 USC §1263].

“Customs and Border Protection will continue to work closely with our trade and consumer safety partners to seize imported merchandise that pose potential harm to American consumers, and especially for toys that pose a potential choking hazard to young children,” said Dianna Bowman, CBP’s Area Port Director for the Area Port of Baltimore.  “We hope that this seizure raises consumer awareness about the very real danger of unsafe products and urge consumers to remain vigilant when buying toys for young children.”

According to the CPSC, there were an estimated 240,000 toy-related injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments during 2016, and an estimated 85,200 (35 percent) of those cases happened to children younger than 5 years of age.  View more from CPSC’s Toy- Related Deaths and Injuries report.

Learn more from CPSC about consumer safety.

CBP seized nearly 2,000 children's mini activity cubes.
CBP seized nearly 2,000 children's mini
activity cubes.

“As the nation’s border security agency, Customs and Border Protection enforces hundreds of laws for many different agencies, including laws governing consumer safety.  It’s one way in which CBP contributes to helping to keep Americans safe,” said Casey Owen Durst, CBP’s Field Operations Director in Baltimore, the agency’s operational commander in the Mid-Atlantic region.

CBP’s Office of Field Operations

Almost a million times each day, CBP officers welcome international travelers into the U.S.  In screening both foreign visitors and returning U.S. citizens, CBP uses a variety of techniques to intercept narcotics, unreported currency, weapons, prohibited agriculture, and other illicit products, and to assure that global tourism remains safe and strong. 

CBP's border security mission is led at ports of entry by CBP officers from the Office of Field Operations.  Please visit CBP Ports of Entry to learn more about how CBP’s Office of Field Operations secures our nation’s borders.

Read what CBP accomplished ‘On a Typical Day’ during 2016.  Learn more at

Last modified: 
February 3, 2021