There have been many recent media reports concerning serious illness and death of users of electronic cigarettes, but that threat may be compounded by the proliferation of counterfeit products being imported to the United States. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is doing its part to protect consumers by identifying and seizing potential counterfeit e-Cigarettes imports before they can reach consumers.
On Friday, Philadelphia CBP officers seized 295 Eonsmoke brand and 300 VGOD brand e-cigarette pods of various flavors that were shipped from Hong Kong to an address in Warrington, Pa. Officers detained the shipment September 3 and worked with CBP’s Consumer Products and Mass Merchandising Centers for Excellence and Expertise, the agency’s trade experts. The trademark holders verified that the products were counterfeits. The e-Cigarettes shipment was appraised at $11,500.
In April, Philadelphia CBP officers seized 1,152 counterfeit Juul pods, three chargers and a Juul device.
Consumers should be aware that counterfeit products are often manufactured in unregulated facilities and with substandard materials.
“Counterfeit consumer goods, such as these electronic nicotine products, pose a great danger to consumers because there is no way to verify the authenticity or the safety of the product’s ingredients,” said Casey Durst, CBP Director of Field Operations in Baltimore. “Customs and Border Protection will continue to work closely with our trade and consumer safety partners to intercept counterfeit consumer goods, especially products that can harm American consumers.”
CBP protects businesses and consumers every day through an aggressive Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) enforcement program. Importation of counterfeit merchandise can cause significant revenue loss, damage the U.S. economy, and threaten the health and safety of the American people.
On a typical day in 2018, CBP officers seized $3.7 million worth of products with IPR violations. Learn more about what CBP did during “A Typical Day” in 2018.
In fiscal year (FY) 2018, the number of IPR seizures decreased by 333 seizures to 33,810 from 34,143 in FY 2017. The total estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of the seized goods, had they been genuine, increased to nearly $1.4 billion from over $1.2 billion in FY 2017. Read more 2018 IPR Enforcement Statistics.