Most Chinese face mask manufacturers do not have the relative CE certificate. What they have is a fake certificate that is issued by some organisations not authorized by Europe. The following is a common fake one many Chinese factories hold. When the goods come to your port, often times you are caught in the middle of the problem of custom clearance. This is a very serious problem if you can not present your certificate. Instead of getting a fake certificate, having a test report from some renown organisation like CTC, SATRA, SGS etc will do the work and you do not have to hold official certificate at the moment. These renown organisation do not have the right to issue CE certificate in China, but they are applying for the right in the wake of this pandemic.
KN95 mask is an equivalent of N95 although they might have some minor difference. KN95 might be a substitute of N95 if you can not find N95 certificate and your country accepts this equivalent. United States have a statement that suggests to use Chinese KN95 mask if N95 is not available. KN95 might also be a ideal substitute of European FFP2. But a basic fact in China is that a certificate might be only a paper that is not enough to prove your mass production confirms to the standard. The samples sent for test can be manipulated easily.
Face mask is currently a phenomenal product which profit has never been seen before. So many Chinese factories that makes other safety products turn to the production of face mask in China. The overall mask machines quantity in China is still being increased. Up until now, the profit is lower than the beginning but profit is still huge. The high demand of mask also indirectly push the market price of mask machine and raw materials super high. Another fact is that mask machines can be done overnight, but the raw material capacity can not be increased in a short period of time. That’s why you see the increased face mask price over past a couple of days even though there are more mask machines available.
Masks are mostly shipped by courier so far. For the time matter, courier is the most fast way for customers to get masks from China. Waiting for one month by the sea shipment is obviously meaningless in this special moment, so most foreign customers opt for courier to get the goods from China. The disadvantage of using courier to ship mask is the high cost, but it might be nothing compared with high profit margin of selling mask during COVID-19 pandemic.
Chinese custom recently tightened the policy of how you can ship face mask out of China. They have started to put a strict policy in place that makes exportation process of mask complex. They divide mask into two categories medical mask and particle filtering mask. Medical mask has more stringent requirement that has to follow different standard in China. As for particle filtering mask, you have to make a declaration that says this is not medical usage. At the beginning, you could ship the mask out of China in the name of samples, but now if your quantity of shipping is beyond a fixed limit, you have to declare them to custom as a formal exported goods. This way the invoice might be a problem for the exporter because many of them can not find formal invoice used for mask. we currently do not know why Chinese custom change their mind, but let’s hope for the best.