U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officers assigned to the International Cargo Port in Boston seized 20,400 counterfeit N95 respirator masks.
On Wednesday, September 2, CBP Officers targeted a suspicious shipment arriving from Hong Kong. Officers detained the shipment of 43 boxes that appeared to contain counterfeit N95 respirator masks. The boxes were brought to the International Cargo Port where specialists from CBP’s Apparel, Footwear and Textile Center of Excellence and Expertise (CEE) determined the items to be counterfeit with an appraised value of $163,200.
“Counterfeit personal protective equipment puts frontline workers and the general public’s health at risk,” said Michael Denning, Director of Field Operations for the Boston Field Office. “CBP Officers and our trade teams are trained to identify and intercept these dangerous goods before they can do harm to our communities and the American consumer.”
Certain 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.