WASHINGTON — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) continues to identify and seize a large number of counterfeit, unapproved or otherwise substandard COVID-19 products that threaten the health and safety of American consumers.
As of June 1, CBP had seized more than:
- 107,300 FDA-prohibited COVID-19 test kits in 301 incidents;
- 750,000 counterfeit face masks in 86 incidents;
- 2,500 EPA-prohibited anti-virus lanyards in 89 incidents; and
- 11,000 FDA-prohibited chloroquine tablets in 91 incidents.
“Criminals and other bad actors are trying to profit from the coronavirus pandemic by introducing unauthorized, unproven and potentially unsafe goods into the United States,” said CBP Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan. “CBP continues to target these dangerous shipments while facilitating the entry of legitimate pharmaceuticals and medical supplies that are needed to protect Americans.”
Criminal organizations are attempting to exploit the limited supply of and increased demand for some pharmaceuticals, personal protective equipment and other medical goods required to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Among other products, these criminals are smuggling and selling counterfeit safety equipment, unapproved COVID-19 test kits, unproven medicines and substandard hygiene products through the online marketplace.
To combat these criminal activities, CBP is targeting imports and exports that may contain counterfeit or illicit goods. The products in targeted shipments often include false or misleading claims, lack required warnings or lack proper approvals.
Among other locations, CBP has made significant seizures of counterfeit and unauthorized COVID-19 products in Baltimore, MD; Chicago, IL; El Paso, TX; Los Angeles, CA; Rochester, NY; Seattle, WA; and Vicksburg, MS. Additional examples of seizures can be found in CBP’s online newsroom.