PHILADELPHIA – Even during times of great concern, people feel the need to look their very cosmetic best and to do so at the best price possible. What they don’t realize is that the cheaper dermal filler they purchase online could potentially make them ill, or never reach their doorstep because they violate U.S. import laws.
Since the beginning of the year, Customs and Border Protection officers in Philadelphia have seized more than 100 shipments of dermal filler bearing the brand names of Juvederm, Teoxane, Teosyal, Sculptera, Orthovisc, Revanesse, Restylane, Dyasport, and of course the more popularly known Botox.
CBP seized the dermal filler shipments for violating the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, specifically 21 USC 331, and for violating import licensing and permit requirements (19USC1595a). The shipments, which arrived aboard air cargo flights from Germany and Poland, were destined to addresses in states across the United States, but Florida was the most popular. The domestic value of each shipment ranged from less than $300 to $450, cheaper than what consumer would pay in the United States.
“American consumers should exercise caveat emptor, or buyer beware, that just because you purchase an item more cheaply online overseas does not necessarily mean it is lawful for importation to the United States or safe for consumer use,” said Joseph Martella, Area Port Director for the Area Port of Philadelphia. “Customs and Border Protection officers will continue to work with the trade industry and our consumer safety partners to intercept illicit and potentially dangerous products at our nation’s ports of entry.”
Consumers should also be aware that products purchased online may be counterfeit products that may have been manufactured in unregulated facilities with substandard or harmful ingredients. CBP urges consumer to buy from reputable vendors.
The Food and Drug Administration offers safety tips for dermal fillers, including never purchasing dermal filler on the Internet because they may be counterfeit, contaminated or harmful.
CBP's border security mission is led at ports of entry by CBP officers from the Office of Field Operations. CBP officers screen international travelers and cargo and search for illicit narcotics, unreported currency, weapons, counterfeit consumer goods, prohibited agriculture, and other illicit products that could potentially harm the American public, U.S. businesses, and our nation’s safety and economic vitality. Please visit CBP Ports of Entry to learn more about how CBP’s Office of Field Operations secures our nation’s borders.