Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers assigned to the International Mail Facility (IMF) at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport recently seized suspicious 3M N95 type masks with a 3M trademark.
Officers assigned to the Port of Chicago seized parcels arriving from Colombia. Personnel inspected the shipment to determine the admissibility of the parcels and their contents.
Officers noticed an unfamiliar chemical smell coming from the 136 boxes containing the masks, in addition to grammatical errors on the 3M packaging. CBP Import Specialists determined the shipment of 3M masks infringed upon the 3M trademark and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health NIOSH trademark, resulting in 65,280 masks being seized.
“These counterfeit masks are extremely dangerous and provide a false sense of security to American consumers,” Hans Leiterman, assistant Area Port Director-Chicago, said. “Unfortunately, there is no shortage of bad actors out there trying to take advantage of consumers during a global pandemic.”
If the masks had been real in the wake of supply and demand, the masks would have possessed a domestic value of over $401,000.
CBP has remained focused on its mission to protect consumers, reduce trading costs and promote a level playing field for American businesses amid criminal enterprise efforts to exploit the COVID-19 pandemic to sell counterfeit, unapproved, unsafe PPE and pharmaceuticals.