US | Dec 14, 2020

Fake ‘3M Safe Guard’ masks destined for Jamaica confiscated inUS

/ Our Today

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Information provided with shipment did not satisfy authentication process

Boxes of masks labeled as 3M Disposable Respirators Model 8210 destined for Kingston, Jamaica (Photo: US Customs)

A shipment of more than 6,000 counterfeit masks intended to protect against COVID-19 infection, destined for Kingston, Jamaica, was intercepted by Customs and Border Protection officers at their facility in Northern Kentucky.

It has been reported that US customs officers, at their building in Erlanger, located near the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky Airport, held an incoming freight from Hong Kong for inspection. However, during routine operations, customs officers discovered a shipment containing 38 shipping boxes of masks labeled as 3M Disposable Respirators Model 8210.

Upon close inspection by customs officers, it was later discovered that the information provided with the shipment did not meet the requirements of the 3M Safe Guard product authentication process. The US customs officers report that the boxes also were labeled as made in the United States of America although imported through a freight forwarder in Hong Kong.

The masks were ultimately determined to be counterfeit by US Customs and Border Protection Centers of Excellence and Expertise.

Vigilance in detecting fake masks given current COVID health crisis

Cincinnati Port Director Richard Gillespie credited the discovery of the fake masks to the vigilance of US Customs and Border Protection Centers of Excellence and Expertise in stamping out fake products coming through US ports.

“With the current health concerns nationwide, our officers have amplified their efforts to find fake medical supplies that can have potentially deadly consequences,” Gillespie said.

“Counterfeit masks like these are not tested using the same quality control standards as the genuine product, and it is unlikely they will perform in the same manner as the genuine product was designed to do.”

A legitimate 3M Model 8210 mask. (Photo:

The Cincinnati Port d said US Customs and Border Protection understands the importance of finding these shipments and preventing them from being sold to unsuspecting consumers.

The masks, which were headed to Kingston, Jamaica, would have had a manufacturer’s suggested retail value of US$6,688 (J$965,000) had they been genuine. The Centers of Excellence and Expertise serve as resources to the nation’s broader trade community and to CBP’s U.S. government partners. 

The agency was established to increase the uniformity of practices across all U. S. ports of entry, facilitate the timely resolution of trade compliance issues nationwide, and further strengthen critical agency knowledge on key industry practices.


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