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$1.7M in illegal e-cigarettes seized in Allentown

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Port of Lehigh Valley in Allentown, Pennsylvania seized more than 86,000 unapproved flavored vaping products, worth an estimated $1.72 million on Wednesday.

The shipment arrived from China on Sept. 18 manifested as “LED lights” and was destined to an address in Northampton County. The shipment consisted of 216 boxes that contained 86,000 Alphaa Onee Plus flavored electronic cigarettes. CBP officers detained the shipment and contacted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The FDA examined the e-cigarettes and determined on Oct. 6 that the shipment violated the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act as misbranded consumer goods being imported by an unauthorized agent. In January, the FDA announced an increased enforcement priority of electronic nicotine delivery systems, and in April issued detailed guidance to the industry of these new enforcement priorities that regulate the unauthorized importation of flavored e-cigarettes.

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 e-cigarettes will be destroyed.

“Tobacco products are inherently unhealthy, and flavored vaping products pose a very serious health concern, which is enhanced in this case by misbranding as the consumer has no idea what chemicals are actually contained in the product,” said Casey Durst, Director of Field Operations for CBP’s Baltimore Field Office. “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.”

In August, CBP announced the seizure of about $445,000 in unapproved and unsafe vaping products at the Ports of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

CBP’s border security mission is led at ports of entry by CBP officers from the Office of Field Operations. CBP officers screen international travelers and cargo and search for illicit narcotics, unreported currency, weapons, counterfeit consumer goods, prohibited agriculture, and other illicit products that could potentially harm the American public, U.S. businesses, and our nation’s safety and economic vitality.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of U.S. borders at and between official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.