CBP Seizes 50,000 Unapproved Vape Pens in Chicago

U.S. Customs and Border Protections (CBP) officers at Chicago O’Hare’s International Mail Branch seized 50,000 dragster Mountain Vape Pens on Tuesday. The shipment, originated from Hong Kong, and was destined for a residence in Alexandria, Kentucky.

illegal vape pens
Credit: CBP

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) determined the shipment violated the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) as misbranded consumer goods being imported by an unauthorized agent, according to a press release. Tobacco products imported or offered for import into the United States must comply with all applicable U.S. laws. Read more about the FDA’s regulations governing e-cigarettes and other tobacco products.

The shipment was seized on January 19, and was mis-manifested as Lithium Ion Battereies, a common practice used by smugglers, CBP states. “CBP believed the shipment was intentionally improperly labeled in order to avoid detection,” the release states. “Additionally, CBP presumes the products are being sold without authorization. CBP continues to work diligently to stop non-legitimate products from entering the U.S.” The pens had an MSRP of $450,000.

“Our officers are dedicated to identifying and intercepting these types of shipments that could potentially harm our communities,” said Shane Campbell, Area Port Director-Chicago. “Customs and Border Protection’s trade enforcement mission places a significant emphasis on intercepting illicit products that could harm American consumers, and we will continue to work with our consumer safety partners to identify and seize unsafe and illicit goods.”

Last year the FDA announced an increased enforcement priority of electronic nicotine delivery systems, and issued detailed guidance to the industry of these new enforcement priorities that regulate the unauthorized importation of tobacco products.

CBP provides basic import information about admissibility requirements and the clearance process for e-commerce goods and encourages buyers to confirm that their purchases and the importation of those purchases comply with any state and federal import regulations.

CBP conducts operations at ports of entry throughout the United States, and regularly screens arriving international passengers and cargo for narcotics, weapons, and other restricted or prohibited products. CBP strives to serve as the premier law enforcement agency enhancing the Nation’s safety, security, and prosperity through collaboration, innovation, and integration.