CBP, ICE seize more than 40k Counterfeit Condoms
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico— U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) seized, during a period of five days, more than 40,000 counterfeit condoms imported into Puerto Rico from China.
“CBP works with its partners to protect consumers from imported products that threaten the health and safety of consumers.” said Vernon Foret, Acting Director of Field Operations for Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. “Counterfeit and pirated products threaten our economic security and undermine legitimate businesses that invest significant resources into manufacturing safe, quality products.”
CBP however wants to alert consumers that counterfeit condoms, as well as cosmetics and beauty products, unlike legitimate brands, are not subject to strict quality controls and may contain substances that could lead to long-term health problems. In the past, seized cosmetics have been found to contain hazardous substances including cyanide, arsenic, mercury, lead, urine and rat droppings. Fake condoms will not guard the user against sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy.
“The trafficking of counterfeit goods is simply illegal and in some cases, as this, it becomes a problem of public health,” said Ricardo Mayoral, the special agent in charge who oversees HSI operations throughout Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. “This illegal activity represents a triple threat as it delivers substandard and often dangerous goods into the economy, rob citizens of good-paying jobs, and generate proceeds that are often funneled back into other criminal enterprises. HSI will continue to work with its enforcement partners to combat the distribution of counterfeit products, like those seized in San Juan this week that could put unwitting consumers at risk.”
To attack the illegal importation of counterfeit goods in Puerto Rico, ICE and CBP, launched on Jan. 27, the San Juan Trade Enforcement Coordination Center (TECC). The San Juan TECC is the first federal partnership of its kind in Puerto Rico and tenth in the nation to combat fraudulent foreign trade. The center will identify, inspect and investigate foreign trade suspected of being fraudulently introduced into Puerto Rico. It will initially focus on identifying violations in the areas of misclassification, under evaluation, free trade zone fraud, free trade agreement fraud, transshipment, trade-base money laundering and broker compliance. The center will pursue both criminal and civil violations.
CBP protects businesses and consumers every day through an aggressive IPR enforcement program. CBP targets and seizes imports of counterfeit and pirated goods, and enforces exclusion orders on patent-infringing and other IPR goods.
If you have information about counterfeit merchandise being illegally imported into the United States, CBP encourages you to submit an E-Allegation. The e-Allegation provides a means for the public to anonymously report to CBP any suspected violations of trade laws or regulations related to the importation of goods into the U.S.
To submit your trade allegation, please visit en e-Allegations Online Trade Violation Reporting System.