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Philadelphia CBP Seizes $162k in Mislabeled Baby Formula from Germany

Release Date: 
October 3, 2019

Formula is subject of FDA Import Safety Alerts

PHILADELPHIA – One priority of U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) trade enforcement mission is consumer protection. CBP seizes all sorts of dangerous products, such as narcotics, counterfeit goods, unregulated prescription medicines, and recently nearly $162,000 in misbranded baby formula.

One of several kinds of baby formula products CBP officers seized in Philadelphia recently for being a mislabeled product not authorized for sale in the United States.
CBP seized this and other
baby formula not authorized
for sale in the U.S.

In July, CBP officers encountered the first shipment, which consisted of 52 separate “orders” of 1,560 individual packages of HiPP brand infant formula from Germany. CBP officers discovered U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) alerts on HiPP brand baby formula for misbranded and mislabeled nutrients and detained the shipment. Officers then located and detained three additional shipments in July and August that were destined to the same address.

Officers then notified the FDA, where inspectors advised CBP to seize the formula for violating 21 USC 331 and 19 USC 1595 governing the importation of mislabeled or misbranded consumer goods. Officers seized the final shipment September 5 and submitted samples to CBP’s lab for testing.

The four shipments consisted of 4,356 packages of HiPP brand baby formula. The formula appraised for $162,239.

CBP cautions consumers when making internet purchases from overseas vendors that they must assure that the goods they purchase online comply with both state and federal government import regulations to ensure that those goods are safe and meet U.S. health code requirements.

“Consumers should be very careful when contemplating the purchase of items such as these over the internet from an international source, as they may not get what they expect, which is a product that complies with existing U.S. health and safety laws and regulations,” said Casey Durst, Director of Field Operations for CBP’s Baltimore Field Office. “Customs and Border Protection will continue to work closely with our trade and consumer safety partners to intercept high-risk consumer goods, especially products that can harm American consumers.”

 CBP’s Trade Enforcement Operational Approach demonstrates how CBP is using all of its authorities to combat trade fraud by detecting high-risk activity, deterring non-compliance, and disrupting fraudulent behavior.

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. Learn what CBP achieved during "A Typical Day" in 2018

Learn more about CBP at CBP.gov.

Last modified: 
October 3, 2019