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CBP Stops Thousands of Unsafe Hair Dryers

(Monday, February 13, 2012)
Washington — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) seized thousands of hair dryers recently that were determined to constitute a “substantial product hazard” under U.S. law, for failing to have adequate immersion protection. The potentially dangerous hair dryers were identified through a nationwide targeting operation by the CBP Import Safety Commercial Targeting and Analysis Center (CTAC).

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Hair dryer seized by CBP

As a result of the targeting operation, CBP officers in the port of Los Angeles seized an entire shipment of 9,768 hair dryers that lacked shock protection for consumers. Lack of proper shock protection could lead to an electrocution if contact is made with a water source. The port of Miami had a notable seizure of 3,614 hair dryers that also lacked proper shock protection for consumers. These two shipments, containing a total of 13,382 hair dryers, had an estimated domestic value of approximately $229,998 with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $2,506,517.

“Ensuring the safety of imported merchandise is a top priority for CBP,” said Allen Gina, CBP’s assistant commissioner for international trade. “The concerted targeting efforts of CTAC and the vigilance of CBP officers at our ports of entry will help ensure that products like hair dryers are safe for consumers and that substandard product from overseas does not reach store shelves.”

Hair dryers seized by CBP

The joint targeting operation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) concentrated on identifying and stopping the importation of unsafe hair dryers intended for consumer use. CPSC reports that since adoption of industry voluntary standards for immersion protection in its regulations, there has been a significant decline in electrocutions or electrical shock incidents.

“This is another example of how U.S. consumers benefit from the close collaboration between CPSC investigators and CBP officers at some of the largest U.S. ports of entry,” said Carol Cave, CPSC’s Director of the Office of Import Surveillance. “Using data provided by CBP, CPSC is able to target and interdict dangerous and violative consumer goods before they enter the stream of commerce.”

To ensure the safety of imported electrical products, CPSC is working closely with CBP to identify potentially unsafe shipments for CBP to check at ports of entry. CPSC has established permanent staffing at the CTAC in Washington, DC, and is working with CBP at ports to stop unsafe imports from entering the commerce of the U.S.

The CTAC combines resources and personnel from various government agencies to protect the American public from harm caused by unsafe imported products. The center accomplishes this through better communication, information-sharing, and by reducing redundant inspection activities.

For additional information on the CTAC and import safety, please go to ( Priority Trade Issues )

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.

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