JAMAICA, N.Y. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers at John F. Kennedy International Airport assigned to the Cargo Control and Enforcement Division seized over 100,000 Counterfeit 3M N95 masks in two shipments from Hong Kong.
CBP officers made their first interception on December 2 with the second shipment intercepted on December 8. CBP officers consulted with CBP Import Specialists to verify the authenticity of the merchandise and to confirm the possible trademark violations.
The Import Specialists from CBP’s Apparel Footwear & Textiles Center of Excellence and Expertise determined that both shipments were in fact counterfeit. CBP consulted with 3M who confirmed that the merchandise was not authentic. In total there were 144,000 pieces of counterfeit merchandise seized under 19 USC § 1526(e). If genuine the goods would have had a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $158,400.
Counterfeit N95 masks could end up in healthcare settings such as hospitals, nursing homes, and clinics. Since they are counterfeit, they may not meet the standards of the legitimate manufacturer and may not offer the labeled level of efficacy. Unsuspecting users, including surgeons, nurses and other healthcare professionals, may not be getting the level of protection needed to operate safely while conducting their important duties.
“CBP Officers and Import Specialists stand ever vigilant in protecting the American public,” said Troy Miller, Director of CBP’s New York Field Office. “Allowing counterfeits like these to reach the public or our healthcare heroes is a risk we cannot take.”
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, CBP personnel throughout the nation have seized more than 14 million counterfeit face masks, nearly 180,000 FDA-prohibited COVID-19 test kits, and tens of thousands of FDA-prohibited pharmaceuticals.
CBP protects businesses and consumers every day through an aggressive Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) enforcement program, and IPR enforcement is a CBP Priority Trade Issue.
The theft of intellectual property and the trade in substandard and often dangerous goods threaten America’s innovation economy and consumer health and safety, and generate proceeds that fund criminal activities and organized crime. CBP has established the Truth Behind Counterfeits educational campaign to raise consumer awareness about the health and safety, legal, and economic consequences of purchasing counterfeit and pirated goods. For more information, visit www.cbp.gov/fakegoodsrealdangers.
If you have any information regarding suspected fraud or illegal trade activity, please contact CBP through the e-Allegations Online Trade Violation Reporting System or by calling 1-800-BE-ALERT. IPR violations can also be reported to the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center at https://www.iprcenter.gov/referral/ or by telephone at 1-866-IPR-2060.