A Chinese company sued for selling nearly half a million fake and substandard N95 respirators to US buyers in April is not a certified maker of medical masks, Chinese authorities said on Monday. Guangdong-based King Year Packaging and Printing is not on a list of enterprises approved or registered as meeting foreign standards, China’s Commerce Ministry told AFP.

The company had shipped three batches of purported N95 masks — needed to protect medical and other personnel in the coronavirus pandemic — to US buyers, according to a complaint filed in a federal court in Brooklyn, New York. The firm allegedly falsely claimed the 495,200 masks it shipped had met the N95 standard and that they were certified by the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. The mask importer paid over $1 million for them, said the complaint.

According to our preliminary understanding, the Chinese company involved in this case is a manufacturer of non-medical masks and is not on the list of companies certified or registered as meeting foreign standards,” said the commerce ministry. ALSO READ: US sues Chinese firm over half-million ‘fake’ N95 masks It was referring to a list issued by the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Medicines and Health Products.

The ministry added that China has taken a series of measures to strengthen the quality control of exported epidemic-prevention materials, and to regulate exports. “China is willing to strengthen cooperation with governments including that of the United States, work together, overcome the epidemic, and build a common community of health for mankind,” it said.

A government official told reporters in April that China had confiscated over 89 million poor quality face masks, after a slew of complaints about faulty protective gear exported worldwide.

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