ST. LOUIS–U.S. Customs and Border Protections officers at the port of St. Louis recently seized 2,379 counterfeit Juul pods. The two shipments, seized on November 20, were from the same importer in Hong Kong. The shipments were being sent to Columbia, Mo. One shipment was packaged with other branding to try to smuggle the counterfeit Juul product into the United States. The pods, if they were real, were valued at $38,040.
The United States Food and Drug Administration remains deeply concerned about respiratory illnesses and deaths related to vaping, which is why CBP takes intellectual property rights enforcement so serious. It is because of the potential health and safety threats counterfeit goods, like these electronic nicotine products, pose to American consumers. Authentic Juul pods follow strict guidelines. The pods in U.S. are produced in regulated facilities, and the manufacturing process and ingredients are regulated by the U.S. government. In contrast, counterfeit Juul products are manufactured overseas in unregulated and unsanitary facilities, and there is no way to verify the authenticity and safety of the electronic cigarette’s ingredients.
CBP continues works diligently to stop illegal vaping products from entering the U.S. One of the more popular brands of vaping products on the market today, Juul, has been seen being imported illegally in many ways, most of which is counterfeit.
“We are seeing an increased number of shipments of vaping related products that are being packaged and mislabeled to avoid detection,” said St. Louis’ Area Port Director. “However, our personnel understand the potential health implications of products associated with vaping, and have been successful at interdicting these shipments, despite efforts to conceal the true identity of these products.”
Customs and Border Protection officers across the country seize about $3.7 Million in counterfeit consumer goods every day, and continues to works with trademark holders to protect their intellectual property rights.