Project Purify: Combating unauthorized and counterfeit goods during the COVID-19 pandemic

The CBSA, Health Canada, and RCMP announce the results.

The Government of Canada prevents the importation of unauthorized or illegal health products at border crossings across Canada.

Between March 20th and June 30th, 2020, over 380 shipments of unauthorized or counterfeit COVID-19-related goods were detained at the borders of British Columbia, including: 

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.

These were some of the results announced by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), Health Canada, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) for Project Purify earlier in November. 

Project Purify is a multi-departmental initiative to enhance the identification, interception, and tracking of unauthorized or counterfeit COVID-19-related goods attempting to enter Canada through British Columbia.

While some importers genuinely did not recognize that certain health products require specific permits and licenses, others tried to take advantage of the circumstances during the COVID-19 pandemic and attempted to import potentially dangerous products into Canada for financial gains, CBSA officials stated.

Any companies found to be selling unauthorized health products online or in stores in Canada are subject to enforcement action from Health Canada. The measures can range from corrective warnings to removing non-compliant products from the market

Buying health products online or from an unknown provider may pose serious health risks. Counterfeit health products are fraudulent versions of authentic products and may be harmful if used or consumed.

Authorized health products have an eight-digit Drug Identification Number (DIN), Natural Product Number (NPN), or Homeopathic Drug Number (DIN-HM). 

You 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. They can be verified by searching Health Canada’s Medical Devices Active Licence Listing (MDALL).

Combating unauthorized and counterfeit goods during the COVID-19 pandemic: the CBSA, Health Canada and RCMP announce the results of Project Purify

Test kits, PPE and pills: Unauthorized, counterfeit COVID-related goods seized at B.C. border

Newsletter Sign Up

To get our free biweekly newsletter. Receive information about Latin American news in BC and in the world..