A pharma shipment heading from Southeast Asia to Canada declared Titanium Dioxide chemicals on board.


Findings: Publican Detected Misdeclaration & A High Risk to Public Safety Through the Smuggling of Fentanyl Precursors

The exporter, Shijiazhuang Gantuo Biotechnology Co., Ltd., is a manufacturer of pharma chemical intermediates with at least four products in its catalogue that can be used as a drug precursor for producing fentanyl and opioids (N-Methyl, N-Carbethehoxy, N-Tert-Butoxycarbonyl 4-Piperidone, and N-Desethyl Etonitazene)



The shipper’s declared HS code for Titanium Dioxide is in a category commonly used for solar cells, optical waveguides, interference filters, and sensors. However, the North American importer receiving the chemicals, Blendtech Polymers, is a PVC manufacturer which uses Titanium Dioxide for plastics pigmentation, suggesting an inconsistency.



After analyzing the full range of respiratory devices and their listed valuations, as well as a comprehensive look into the shipper’s entire legal history, Publican concluded a high likelihood of quality, safety and valuation concerns.


How did Publican uncover this?

By running a complete wholesale analysis of the exporter’s catalogue to uncover an unusually high amount of chemicals that can be repurposed for fentanyl production, as well as in-depth look into the consistency of HS codes used by both importer and exporter—Publican concluded the shipment posed a high risk to public safety.



While most checks would have overlooked the deeper dangers posed in the exporter’s catalogue and the disparity in HS codes, Publican was not only able to flag the shipment and help customs safeguard the country from a dangerous & growing fentanyl epidemic, but it also helped them identify the correct product (N-tert-Butoxycarbonyl) automatically and before arrival.