Customs issues summons against an oil company and a dispenser supplier

27 Apr 2007

Customs and Excise Department laid summons against an oil company and a fuel dispenser supplier for breaching Weights and Measures Ordinance, Cap.68.

The case will be heard at Tuen Mun Magistrates' Courts on May 18.

An oil company was summonsed for one count of having in its possession for use for trade a defective weighing or measuring equipment (a fuel dispenser), while a supplier of fuel dispensers for one count of having supplied for use for trade a defective weighing or measuring equipment (a fuel dispenser).

On January 8, 2007, Customs conducted check on the accuracy of fuel dispensers at a fuel station in Tuen Mun. Of the 24 fuel dispensers, one was found to have failed to accurately measure the volume of fuel supplied to customers. It over-recorded the volume sold to customers by 5 per cent, amounting to a breach of the Ordinance. A flow meter and a nozzle of the defective fuel dispenser were seized for further Customs investigation.

Investigation showed that the equipment in the fuel station, including fuel dispensers, were owned by an oil company. The fuel dispenser in question was supplied to the company in late October, 2006 by a fuel dispenser supplier, which was responsible for installation and periodic calibration.

A spokesman for Customs and Excise Department today (April 27) reiterated that Hong Kong Customs attached great importance to combating shortweight cases.

He reminded oil companies to comply with the requirement under the Weights and Measures Ordinance. The Department will continue its blitz checks on fuel stations to protect consumer interest and safeguard the level playing field for business in Hong Kong.

Under the Ordinance, any person who uses for trade, has in his possession for use for trade, or supplies for use for trade any weighing or measuring equipment, which is false or defective, commits an offence. The maximum penalty under the Ordinance is a fine of $20,000 and imprisonment for six months. Any defective weighing or measuring equipment is liable to forfeiture.

He said that Customs had taken proactive measures by holding meetings with major oil companies in Hong Kong. Oil companies are reminded to abide by the law and strengthen their internal monitoring.

Apart from stepping up enforcement to examine fuel dispensers in Hong Kong, the Department conducts blitz checks to deter unscrupulous business practices. It accords priority to handle complaints in relation to defective fuel dispensers.

From January 9 to April 26, 2007, the Department conducted checks on 487 fuel dispensers. So far, no irregularity has been found.

The public is encouraged to report to Hong Kong Customs any suspected breach of the Ordinance by calling the 24-hour hotline 2545 6182.

Ends/Friday, April 27, 2007

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