MRO Magazine

Tips for spotting and stopping counterfeit items in the workplace

Toronto, ON -- Illegal counterfeiting is a multi-billion dollar industry. Anyone can unwittingly purchase a counter...

Toronto, ON — Illegal counterfeiting is a multi-billion dollar industry. Anyone can unwittingly purchase a counterfeit product or a product bearing a counterfeit certification mark.

While consumers often express concern about the performance of counterfeit products, the real threat is safety. CSA International of Toronto, a provider of product testing and certification services, offers the following tips designed to help spot and stop counterfeit items before they enter the workplace.

– Significantly lower pricing. If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.

– Cheap production. Check the ‘look and feel’ of goods — fakes are often too light and too flimsy.


– Look for the mark. A system of standards has been put in place against which to test and certify products: avoid electrical, mechanical, plumbing, gas or other standardized products if a certification mark from a recognized certification organization such as CSA International is missing.

– Inspect the mark. Legitimate certification marks have distinctive graphic features that are often not accurately reproduced by counterfeiters.

– Poor spelling. Look for misspellings and unclear printing on packaging, products, labels, or instructions.

– Inferior packaging. Counterfeit packaging often has poor design or shows only partial illustrations.

– Missing items. Check for a discrepancy between the contents of the package and the item’s description on the outside of the package, as well as for missing product information.

– Know your supplier. If in doubt, buy only from reputable, well-known sources.

– Check with the experts: Confirm certification of a product bearing the CSA International certification mark by comparing the product’s identification against the certification record at

To report a suspected counterfeit product or for more information about identifying counterfeit products, visit or call CSA Group’s anti-counterfeiting team at 416-747-4278.

CSA International is a provider of product testing and certification services for electrical, mechanical, plumbing, gas and a variety of other products. Recognized in the U.S., Canada and around the world, CSA’s marks appear on billions of products worldwide. CSA International is a division of CSA Group, which also includes CSA, a developer of standards and codes, and QMI, a North American management systems registrar.