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Trade Descriptions (Unfair Trade Practices)(Amendment) Ordinance 2012

Q.1What is the C&ED’s enforcement strategy after the enactment of the Amended Trade Descriptions Ordinance?
A.1

C&ED attaches great importance to the protection of consumer interests. In addition to routine patrol and inspections of business premises, undercover operations will also be mounted for the purpose of ascertaining traders’ compliance with the Trade Descriptions Ordinance (Opens a new window) (“TDO”). From time to time, C&ED will review its enforcement strategy and effectively redeploy its enforcement resources against TDO cases of significant public concerns, so as to ensure a level playing field for business. On the educational front, C&ED will conduct educational seminars / briefing sessions to enhance traders’ awareness of the legislative requirements. Besides, any successful prosecutions, accepted undertakings and injunction applied will be uploaded to our website for public scrutiny. By making this relevant information publicly available, it is hoped that consumers will be able to have a better understanding of the prevalent unfair trade practices and be a smart consumer.

Q.2How does C&ED set up its investigation priorities?
A.2

Given the wide range of traders in both goods and services that fall within the scope of the fair trading sections, in prioritizing its enforcement actions, C&ED will adopt a risk-based approach and adhere to the principle of effective use of enforcement resources. Generally speaking, C&ED will accord a higher priority to conduct involving significant public interests or concerns; traders lacking of remorse; repeated offenders; commercial practice that will result in significant monetary or financial detriment on the part of consumers; and conduct that indicates a significant, new or emerging market trend. By setting up investigation priorities, C&ED maximizes the effectiveness of enforcement actions for the protection of the interests of consumers and honest traders.

Trade Descriptions (Amendment) Ordinance 2008

Q.1What types of products are regulated under the amended Trade Descriptions Ordinance, Chapter 362, Laws of Hong Kong?
A.1

On top of the existing regulations governing gold, gold alloy and platinum products, the scope of the amended Trade Descriptions Ordinance, Chapter 362, Laws of Hong Kong (Opens a new window) has been extended to regulate diamond, natural Fei Cui and five types of electronic products, namely mobile phone, portable multimedia player, digital camera, digital audio player and digital camcorder.

Q.2According to the Trade Descriptions Ordinance, Chapter 362, Laws of Hong Kong (Opens a new window) , retailers selling regulated products shall issue to the buyers invoices or receipts containing, among other information, "the full name and address of the retailer". If a retailer belongs to a group company operating under several registered names and addresses such as head office, main and branch shops, which one should be disclosed in the invoice or receipt?
A.2

The invoice or receipt shall contain the full name and address of the shop where the products are sold.

Q.3What is the penalty if a retailer of gold, platinum, diamond, natural fei cui or regulated electronic products fails to retain an invoice or receipt issued by him?
A.3

Penalty for failure to do so may be liable to a fine of $5,000 and imprisonment for one month.

Fei cui or natural fei cui

Q.1In the retail sale of natural fei cui or diamond, if an article comes with a certificate which has already contained the information required by the Trade Descriptions Ordinance, Chapter 362, Laws of Hong Kong (Opens a new window) , can the retailer omit the information from the invoice or receipt?
A.1

No. The Trade Descriptions (Provision of Information on Natural Fei Cui) Order, Chapter 362M, Laws of Hong Kong (Opens a new window) and the Trade Descriptions (Provision of Information on Diamond) Order, Chapter 362N, Laws of Hong Kong (Opens a new window) specified that the prescribed information shall be contained in invoices or receipts issued by retailers at the time of supplying natural fei cui or diamond and not by a third party.

Q.2Retailers are used to describing "fei cui" products as "Type A jade". Is there any prohibition to use "Type A jade" to replace "fei cui" under the Trade Descriptions Ordinance, Chapter 362, Laws of Hong Kong (Opens a new window) ?
A.2

Only products conforming to the definition of "fei cui" or "natural fei cui" in the Trade Descriptions Ordinance, Chapter 362, Laws of Hong (Opens a new window) can be described as "fei cui" or "natural fei cui". The expression "natural fei cui" means that the fei cui has not undergone any treatment or process which altered its crystalline structure or original colour. The Ordinance has not dealt with the relationship between "jade" and "fei cui".

Gold and gold alloy

Q.1What are the amendments to the standard of fineness and supply of Chuk Kam (足金) under the Trade Descriptions (Marking)(Gold and Gold Alloy) Order, Chapter 362A, Laws of Hong Kong (Opens a new window) ?
A.1

The standard of fineness for "Chuk Kam" is raised from 990 to 999 parts by weight of gold in 1000 parts by weight of alloy. A retailer supplying "Chuk Kam" product shall state the weight of the article (if the whole article is "Chuk Kam") in the invoice or receipt issued to the buyer.

Platinum

Q.1What are the amendments made to the existing Trade Descriptions (Definition of Platinum) Regulation, Chapter 362B, Laws of Hong Kong (Opens a new window) ?
A.1

The Trade Descriptions (Definition of Platinum) Regulation, Chapter 362B, Laws of Hong Kong (Opens a new window) provides that "鉑金" or "白金" is the Chinese rendition for "platinum". An article shall not be described as "platinum" ("白金" or "鉑金") or "platinum alloy" ("白金合金" or "鉑金合金") if its fineness is less than 850 parts of platinum in 1000 parts by weight of alloy. The expression "Chuk Pak Kam" ("足白金" or "足鉑金") in the course of trade means platinum or platinum alloy of fineness by weight of not less than 990 parts in 1000 parts by weight of alloy.

Regulated Electronic products

Q.1Under the Trade Descriptions (Provision of Information on Regulated Electronic Products) Order, Chapter 362O, Laws of Hong Kong retailers shall issue to a buyer an invoice or receipt containing the prescribed information. If the product comes with a manual or warranty card containing the prescribed information, can the retailer omit such information from the invoice or receipt?
A.1

No. The Trade Descriptions (Provision of Information on Regulated Electronic Products) Order, Chapter 362O, Laws of Hong Kong (Opens a new window) specifies that the prescribed information shall be contained in invoices or receipts issued by retailers themselves at the time of supplying regulated electronic products and not by a third party.

Q.2Under the Trade Descriptions (Provision of Information on Regulated Electronic Products) Order, Chapter 362O, Laws of Hong Kong (Opens a new window) , retailers shall issue to a buyer an invoice or receipt containing information regarding service for the inspection, repair or maintenance. If such service is available in more than one place, which one should be stated in the invoice or receipt?
A.2

If a retailer has made a representation to a buyer that such service is available in one of those places, information on that particular place shall be stated in the invoice or receipt. If the retailer has not made any representation to the buyer, having regard to all the information available to the retailer and information on the place that the buyer will be most likely to avail himself of such service, the information of that place shall be stated in the invoice or receipt.

Trade Descriptions