BALTIMORE, Md. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials say they have seized nearly 60,000 illegal facemasks that reportedly violated trademark protections at ports throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.
Officials say they’ve accumulated 58,846 such face coverings from locations throughout the region – including the largest haul, more than 17,000, from the Port of Pittsburgh.
Decorative masks have become an extremely popular item in the era of COVID-19.
They say the masks’ iconography violated protections for brands that included designer consumer brands, sports teams, vehicle manufacturers, cartoon characters and others.
The masks’ value would have been over $2.5 million – were they authentic.
Since August 13, CBP officers at the Area Ports of Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, and the Ports of Harrisburg, Pa., Pittsburgh and Wilmington, Del., have seized:
- 58,846 counterfeit facemasks during 21 seizures
- 916 tablets of COVID-related medications during two seizures
- 134 COVID-19 test kits and antibody tests during six seizures
These test kits and medications are not on the current Emergency Use Authorization List nor are the manufacturers on the list of firms who have provided compliance notification to the FDA. As such, the products are inadmissible to the United States for violating the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.