According to foreign reports, U.S. Customs officers seized 86000 disposable electronic cigarette products at the port of Lehigh Valley in Eldon, Pennsylvania on Wednesday.
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said the products had been shipped to an address in Northampton County, Pennsylvania, and would be destroyed.
The shipment consists of 216 cartons, which are described in the shipping list as LED lights. The devices are alphaa onee plus disposable e-cigarettes, which FDA inspectors determined violated the federal food, drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD & C) and were fake consumer goods imported by unauthorized agents, according to CBP.
The shipment was actually 216 boxes of about 86000 alphaa onee plus flavored e-cigarettes instead of lamps.
According to the report, these flavors include mogito, Apple Blue Jazz, strawberry milk, energy drink and pomegranate strawberry.
The seizure was announced earlier by the U.S. Customs and Border Service. In the two months from June to August, agents in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia seized 48 separate batches of illegal e-cigarettes. These devices are disposable or based on cartridge change, and their brands include bidi, eonsmoke, pop, puff and St! k。
The goods came from China and Hong Kong, China, and then shipped to Pennsylvania, where all confiscated goods are now destroyed.
Alphaa onee plus is a pre filled disposable electronic cigarette device made in China, which can hold 8.5 ml of electronic liquid. Since the product was not put on the market before August 8, 2016, it violates the FDA’s PMTA rule.
All products that want to be launched in the U.S. market must submit a pre-sale tobacco application (PMTA) and obtain approval prior to marketing.
Alphaa onee plus is similar to other recently launched grey market disposable e-cigarettes, mainly sold in convenience stores and gas stations. Different from black market products, black market products are sold in underground economy without charging sales tax and other taxes. Black market products are taxed and sold through typical retail channels, but the products themselves are not strictly legal.
The most famous of these grey market products is puff bar, which the anti e-cigarette group claimed in early 2020 that it exploited a loophole in FDA guidance to exist in the market.
The FDA closed the loophole by issuing a warning letter in July to major puff bar importers, ordering the product to be removed from the market.
Alphaa onee plus, sold to U.S. customers, was found on two websites for $20.99 and $21.99, respectively. Assuming that it sold at roughly the same price in stores, the value of the seized goods in Pennsylvania would be slightly less than $1.9 million (CBP said it was $1.72 million). Further assuming that the wholesale cost is about $4 per unit (including freight), the profit between distributors and retailers will exceed $1.5 million.
As legitimate manufacturers are forced to comply with FDA’s onerous and expensive PMTA requirements, the puff bar business model is likely to continue to replicate and replicate in the future. Anyone with entrepreneurial spirit and spare time initiative can become an e-cigarette tycoon in grey market.
Of course, sometimes your shipment may be seized by the FBI.