Fake masks and gloves

Worried about catching COVID-19?

Using fake (unsave) Personal Protective Equipment, including face masks and gloves, can result in serious injury or illness

What is fake PPE?

ou may have heard of fake luxury goods, such as watches, sunglasses, bags and clothes, but did you know that Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that is designed to protect the wearer, including face masks and gloves, are also copied

Unlike the manufacturers of genuine PPE, the makers of fakes usually do not comply with safety regulations. Therefore, fake PPE may fail to offer the wearer protection from injury or infection.

Why you should avoid buying fake PPE?

You may be after a bargain when shopping for PPE, including aprons and visors, but the price that you end up paying for a fake version may be much higher than the price of an original.

Fake PPE may fail to offer the wearer protection from injury or infection, including from viruses such as COVID-19. Fake PPE can be made from cheap substandard components and is usually not produced in accordance with the required safety regulations.

How can you spot fake PPE?

You can identify fake PPE by using your common sense and applying four indicators:


If the PPE is sold from an outlet such as a street vendor, open marketplace, online marketplace or social media site, there is an increased chance the product is fake. In order to make sure you buy original products, only buy from reputable stockiest or shops.

Product quality

The quality of fake PPE is often low compared to an original. The different components of PPE may be poorly connected and the fabrics unsafe, increasing the risk of injury or infection.


If the price of the PPE is below the normal market price, there is an increased chance the product is fake. In other words, if the bargain seems too good to be true, it probably is.

If you do not know the price of the PPE that you wish to buy, you can check the price online at the genuine manufacturer’s  website before you make your purchase.


In order to keep costs down, the makers of fake PPE often cut corners when it comes to packaging. They try to imitate the packaging of the original product they are copying but the quality is often very poor.

The genuine product (or where not possible the packaging or documentation accompanying the PPE) should be clearly marked in Serbian with:

  • Name, trademark or other (brand) to identify the manufacturer or his authorized representative in Serbia;
  • Mark of conformity (Picture);
  • Number of the notified / designated body; and
  • Type, batch or serial number.

Fake PPE is frequently produced by non-Serbian speakers and, therefore, spelling mistakes are very common. Always look closely for spelling mistakes on the packaging, including the small print.

The PPE should also be accompanied by instructions and safety information, in Serbian, which are clear, legible and easy to understand.

the Serbian authorities seized items of suspected fake Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in 2019

What can yo do if you have bought PPE and you suspect they are fake?

You may have bought PPE on the understanding it was genuine. However, if you later believe the product is fake you should contact the original manufacturer and/or the Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications.
Your information will help protect yourself and others from fakes.

Who can I contact if I need help?

If you have any questions about fake products please contact:

Ministry of Trade,Tourism and Telecommunication
Sector of Market Inspection
E-mail: stopfalsifikati@mtt.gov.rs
Website: www.mtt.gov.rs

If you have any questions about non-compliant or unsafe cosmetics, please contact:

Ministry of Health
Sector for inspection affairs
Website: www.zdravlje.gov.rs

The respective Serbian authorities exchange information concerning dangerous products found on the market, including unsafe cosmetics that could be fake. These alerts are placed on the rapid alert system for dangerous non-food products – “NEPRO”. They include information about the type of products found, the risks posed and the measures taken at national level to prevent or restrict their marketing. Weekly reports of the alerts are available at www.nepro.gov.rs

If you have considered all the Indicators but are still not certain whether the PPE you would like to buy is fake, you can contact the original manufacturer or look for information on their website.

Above all don’t take the chance!

Download brochure “Personal Protective Equipment for buyers” (PDF)