Customs officers yesterday (January 8) found that of the 24 fuel dispensers at a fuel station in Tuen Mun, one failed to accurately measure the volume of fuel supplied to customers.
This was the first time that Hong Kong Customs encountered such offence.
Acting on complaint, officers of the Customs and Excise Department and the Government Laboratory jointly checked the accuracy of fuel dispensers installed at the fuel station in Tuen Mun yesterday.
As a result, they located a defective fuel dispenser. The fuel dispenser was suspected of over-recording the volume of fuel supplied to customers by more than five per cent. In other words, if a consumer chooses to fill a car with 50 litres of fuel, he will be overcharged by a sum of 30 odd dollars.
A flow meter and a nozzle of the defective fuel dispenser were seized.
Customs officers are investigating the discrepancy with a view to prosecuting the party concerned.
A spokesman for the Customs and Excise Department today (January 9) reiterated that Customs officers would step up enforcement actions to crack down on activities involving inaccurate weighing and measuring equipment to protect consumers' interest, and to ensure that Hong Kong maintains a fair trade environment.
Any person who uses for trade or has in his possession for use for trade any weighing or measuring equipment, which is false or defective, commits an offence under the Weights and Measures Ordinance, Chapter 68.
Under Weights and Measures Ordinance, the maximum penalty for the offence is a fine of $20,000 and imprisonment for six months. Any defective weighing or measuring equipment is also liable to forfeiture.
In 2006, there were 51 cases of prosecution relating to short weight and defective weighing equipment involving a total fine of $108,950.
Ends/Tuesday, January 9, 2007