Supermarket fined $15,000 for supplying pork bones with false trade description (with photo)

27 Nov 2012

A supermarket chain today (November 27) pleaded guilty at Kowloon City Magistrates' Court to the charge of supplying pork bones with a false trade description in contravention of the Trade Descriptions Ordinance (TDO) and was fined $15,000 for the offence. Seven packs of pork bones were confiscated.

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 of the supermarket in Wong Tai Sin in June this year and found that it sold packs of pork chest and neck vertebrae and limb bones bearing the false label "pork tail bones". In the operation, the seven packs of pork bones, worth about $140 and sold at a reduced price of $89, were seized.

The retail price of pork tail bones is generally higher than chest and neck vertebrae and limb bones. Selling other parts of bones misrepresented as pork tail bones would mislead customers, even at a lower price, into thinking that they could buy relatively expensive goods at a bargain price.

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

"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/Tuesday, November 27 2012

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