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The CBSA Participates in Operation Pangea

Working with partners to stop fake health products at the border

Don't risk your heath by importing fake health products.

That's the message for Canadians who buy medicines online after Canada seized or refused over 3,000 packages of suspected counterfeit and/or unlicensed health products, such as illegal prescription drugs, during Operation Pangea XI.

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) partnered with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Health Canada and INTERPOL Ottawa during the week-long operation held from -, 2018.

"It's important to be careful if you buy drugs or health products online," said the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, in a RCMP-led news release announcing the results of the operation. "Operation Pangea's results show the dangers of fake and unauthorized health products, and demonstrate how widely available these products are. Operation Pangea highlights the collaboration that happens all year round between law enforcement, border officers and health officials to help keep Canadians safe."

The CBSA plays an important role in ensuring the safety and security of Canadians by identifying and stopping threats in the postal stream. The Agency has employees working in international mail processing centres in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver in efforts to identify, examine and interdict mail that may contain prohibited, controlled or regulated items under the Customs Act or any other Act of Parliament.

The CBSA will refer mail for further inspection if there are concerns that the item may be inadmissible, wrongly labeled or contain contraband. Depending on the nature of the item, this secondary inspection will either be conducted by the CBSA or by another government department or agency (e.g., Health Canada) before it can continue in the postal process.

During Operation Pangea, inspections at Canadian border centres resulted in the assessment of 3,586 packages. Of those inspected, 87% were either seized or refused because they contained counterfeit and/or unlicensed health products, such as illegal prescription drugs.

Follow Health Canada's important tips for what you should do if you're considering buying health products online – HC.

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