Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - There are likely to be some perturbed plundering pirates pillaging around Pittsburgh, but U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) only wants to ensure that they sack the city safely.

Photo caption: Pittsburgh CBP officers seized 3,740 medicated eye patches on March 20, 2021 that violated the Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act.
CBP officers seized medicated eye
patches in Pittsburgh that were
unapproved for use in the U.S.

That’s because CBP officers seized 3,740 potentially harmful medicated eye patches on Saturday that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration determined to be unapproved for sale in the United States.

The patches initially arrived in two shipments from Hong Kong. The first shipment arrived on January 4 and consisted of 2,300 medicated eye patches. The second shipment of 1,440 medicated eye patches arrived on February 8. Both shipments were destined to separate addresses in Allegheny County, Pa. Upon close examination, none of the packaging contained English-language directions or ingredients. CBP officers detained both shipments and submitted photos and documentation of the medicated eye patches to FDA inspectors.

The FDA determined that the products violated the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act as adulterated or misbranded medical products and directed CBP to seize the eye patches.

Import specialists at CBP’s Centers of Excellence and Expertise, the agency’s trade experts, assessed the domestic value of the collective lot of medicated eye patches at more than $10,000.

“As our nation’s border security agency, Customs and Border Protection examines imports every day to ensure that the consumer goods comply with all applicable U.S. laws, and that they pose no harm to American consumers. We take this responsibility very serious,” said Keith Fleming, CBP’s Acting Director of Field Operations in Baltimore. “CBP remains steadfast in our continuing commitment to working with our consumer safety partners in our collective mission to help keep our citizens safe.”

CBP officers from the Office of Field Operations conducts the agency’s border security mission at our nation’s ports of entry. CBP officers screen international travelers and cargo and search for dangerous drugs, 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.

On a typical CBP day last year, CBP processed 90,000 entries of imported goods with a value of $6.64 billion at our air, land, and sea ports of entry.