CBP Seizes Over 53,000 Illegal Vape Pens in Chicago from China

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Chicago intercepted a substantial shipment of 53,700 electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), commonly known as vape pens, for violating the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act). The shipment, which originated in China, was intended for a wholesaler in Mississippi.

Upon examination, CBP and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) determined that the vaping pens were adulterated consumer goods imported by an unauthorized agent. This seizure coincides with the FDA’s June 10 announcement of a new federal multi-agency task force aimed at curbing the illegal distribution and sale of e-cigarettes. Further information about electronic nicotine delivery systems can be found on the FDA’s website.

The cargo, mislabeled as electronic atomizers, was contained in 179 boxes—a tactic frequently employed to smuggle unapproved goods into the U.S. The estimated retail value of the seized goods exceeds $1.08 million, indicating the shipment was likely intended for broad distribution across the country.

LaFonda D. Sutton-Burke, Director of Field Operations for the Chicago Field Office, emphasized the commitment of CBP officers to protecting public health and safety. “Our officers are vigilant in identifying and intercepting shipments that could potentially harm the health and wellbeing of the American public,” she stated. “Customs and Border Protection’s trade enforcement mission is focused on intercepting illicit products that pose a risk to American consumers. We will continue to collaborate with our consumer product safety partners to identify and seize unsafe and illicit goods.”

CBP also provides guidance on import admissibility requirements and the clearance process for e-commerce goods, urging buyers to ensure that their purchases comply with state and federal import regulations.–News Desk