A packed container filled with undeclared cosmetics, backpacks, wristwatches, and soccer balls worth more than US $2 million was seized by the Servicio Nacional de Aduanas (Chilean Customs Service) in the northern port city of Iquique.
Ricardo Aceituno, Deputy Director of the Iquique Regional Customs Office, explained that, thanks to the work of the Risk Analysis Unit (UAR) within the Public Health Integrated Inspection Plan (PIF), a container coming from Shanghai was separated for inspection at the Iquique Free Trade Zone (ZOFRI).
Out of 434 declared boxes and bales, a total of 359 of them did not correspond to what was stated in the cargo manifest, meaning that a total of 287,462 smuggled items (including 197,000 counterfeits) worth US $2,259,000 evaded more than US $600,000 in taxes.
Among the products seized were 144,526 sets of exclusive smuggled cosmetics with no corresponding sanitary certificates—thus these cosmetics were potentially harmful to the health and well-being of consumers, since these products are intended to be applied directly to the skin.
According to the Chilean Customs Service, this is the most substantial seizure of smuggled cosmetics and beauty products in recent years. This successful operation also included the seizure of 52,936 units of other consumer goods, such as cell phone chargers, wristwatches, soccer balls, and backpacks sold under different well-known marks. The above-mentioned goods are currently impounded, and the corresponding Chilean Customs Units are initiating further administrative/judicial actions.
During 2017, the collaborative work of all Chilean Regional Customs Offices under the PIF facilitated the seizure of 2,511,064 contraband products deemed potentially hazardous to human health, such as food, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, toys, and medical devices.
INTA salutes the success of the Chilean Customs Service and reiterates its willingness to collaborate and expand efforts to keep training customs officials in the region about the dangers of counterfeit goods to economies and to the public health at large.