Frequently, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency in Florida and other states team with other government agencies in efforts to prevent illegal or dangerous items from entering the country. Often, this involves intercepting street drugs, but it may also mean handling other products that do not meet the quality standards of the United States. Many of these products come from countries in Asia and Europe. Recently the CBP, in cooperation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, identified hundreds of incoming shipments that carried items agents determined to be either counterfeit or prohibited by U.S. law.
Federal law denies entry for such products because they may be harmful if they have not undergone the testing process the U.S. imposes on medications and similar items. The U.S. is cautious about allowing these allegedly unapproved or counterfeit drugs and other products to find their way into the hands of U.S. consumers, who may be unaware of a product’s ingredients or quality. Additionally, counterfeit products often violate the intellectual property rights of U.S. manufacturers. The most recent shipments of confiscated items involved the following types of products:
- HIV drugs
- Cancer medication
- Botox and other dermal fillers
- Human growth hormones
- COVID-19 tests
- Liposuction devices
- Seizure medication
Genuine products like these may be worth more than $1.23 million. Online shopping has made purchasing products from overseas fast, cheap and convenient for both consumers and retailers. Confiscation of FDA–regulated products can be frustrating for legitimate businesses, and those items that do not meet federal standards may even lead to criminal charges.