Supermarket fined $10,000 for supplying chilled fish with false trade description (with photo)

6 Aug 2012

A chain supermarket today (August 6) pleaded guilty at Tsuen Wan Magistrates' Court to the charge of supplying a chilled fish with a false trade description in contravention of the Trade Descriptions Ordinance (TDO) and was fined $10,000 for the offence.

The Customs and Excise Department (C&ED) reminds traders that it is an offence under the TDO to supply goods bearing a false trade description.

Acting on information, Customs officers investigated a branch shop of the supermarket in Tsuen Wan in late May this year and found that the supermarket sold chilled white-edged lyretail bearing the false label "leopard coralgrouper".

The retail price of leopard coralgrouper was generally higher than that of white-edged lyretail. Selling white-edged lyretail misrepresented as leopard coralgrouper, though at a lower price, would mislead customers that they could buy relatively expensive goods at a bargain price.

The spokesman for the C&ED said, "The Department will spare no efforts in cracking down on misrepresentation of goods in the course of supply and will take vigorous prosecution action against offenders irrespective of whether the offences involve small value transactions or market leaders."

The spokesman added, "If consumers suspect that the goods they have bought bear a false trade description, they are advised to keep the goods, the invoices and receipts and report to the department by calling the 24-hour Customs hotline 2545 6182."

Under the TDO, any person who supplies goods with a false trade description in the course of trade or business or has in his possession for sale any goods with a false trade description commits a criminal offence. The maximum penalty upon conviction is a fine of $500,000 and imprisonment for five years.

Ends/Monday, August 6 2012

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