Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), Health Canada and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) have seized millions of unauthorized or counterfeit goods attempting to enter Canada through British Columbia.
The counterfeit goods were seized as part of Project Purify, a multi-departmental partnership between the CBSA, Health Canada and the RCMP.
The project was established to enhance the identification, interception and tracking of unauthorized or counterfeit COVID-19 health-related products in British Columbia between March 20th and June 30th, 2020.
380 shipments of unauthorized content or counterfeit COVID-19-related goods were detained at the border included 48,000 COVID-19 test kits, 4.5 million units of personal protective equipment, 33,000 prescription tablets and pills and over 1,500 other intercepts of fraudulent and potentially dangerous products.
According to the news release, when the CBSA detects the unauthorized or counterfeit goods, they refer the items to the RCMP to address safety and security concerns, or to Health Canada to address potential health risks. Health Canada works closely with law enforcement agencies and takes immediate action against any companies found to be selling unauthorized health products either online or in stores in Canada. Enforcement actions can range from directing that importers take corrective actions to comply with regulatory requirements to removing non-compliant products from the market.
The government said authorized health products have an eight-digit Drug Identification Number (DIN), Natural Product Number (NPN) or Homeopathic Drug Number (DIN-HM).
Canadians can also verify that a product has been authorized for sale by searching Health Canada’s Drug Product Database or Licensed Natural Health Product Database. Class II-IV medical devices require a device license to be sold in Canada and can be verified by searching Health Canada’s Medical Devices Active Licence Listing (MDALL).
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