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10,080 Counterfeit Surgical Masks Seized in Cincinnati

Release Date: 
January 8, 2021

CINCINNATI–-Cincinnati CBP officers closed out 2020 with an all-too-familiar theme—a significant seizure of counterfeit masks that were packaged advertising protection against communicable respiratory diseases. Masks

Just before Christmas, officers inspected a shipment from China that contained 21 shipping boxes of masks labeled as 3M Mask Model 1860. Officers noted the information provided with the shipment did not meet the requirements of the 3M Safe Guard product authentication process, and the boxes were labeled as made in the USA although they were being imported from a consumer electronics company in Shenzhen, China. The masks were ultimately determined to be counterfeit by CBP’s Centers of Excellence and Expertise.

Counterfeit products are not subjected to the same rigorous quality control standards as the genuine products, and that can be disastrous when innocent citizens expect a product to perform as advertised.

“Our officers are not only protecting the integrity of the American economy through trademark enforcement, they are preventing potentially dangerous and faulty masks from being distributed to our frontline medical personnel,” said Cincinnati Port Director Richard Gillespie. “This underscores how counterfeiters completely disregard the human lives while padding their bank accounts.”

The masks were headed to a sales company in Union City, California, and would have had a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $65,520 had they been genuine.

The Centers of Excellence and Expertise (CEE) serve as resources to the broader trade community and to CBP’s U.S. government partners. CBP’s Centers were established to increase uniformity of practices across ports of entry, facilitate the timely resolution of trade compliance issues nationwide, and further strengthen critical agency knowledge on key industry practices.

Follow CBP on Twitter @CBPChicago and @DFOChicago.

Last modified: 
January 8, 2021