Hong Kong Customs combats unfair trade practices at ginseng and dried seafood shop

23 Dec 2016

Hong Kong Customs today (December 23) arrested a salesman at a ginseng and dried seafood shop suspected of engaging in unfair trade practices involving misleading omission in the sale of Herba Dendrobii, in contravention of the Trade Descriptions ordinance (TDO).

Customs officers conducted a test-buy operation at the ginseng and dried seafood shop in Causeway Bay today. The salesman was suspected to have misled the purchaser to believe that the unit price of Herba Dendrobii was calculated per catty. After the Herba Dendrobii was ground, the salesman revealed that the goods were priced per mace. The charged amount was 160 times different from that expected. Customs officers then arrested the 29-year-old man. Investigation is ongoing and the arrested person has been released on bail pending further investigation.

Customs reminds traders to comply with the requirements of the TDO and consumers to purchase products from reputable shops. Consumers should also be cautious about the unit price and ask for more information, including the total price of the goods selected, before making a purchase decision.

Under the TDO, any trader who engages in a commercial practice that omits or hides material information and as a result causes, or is likely to cause, an average consumer to make a transactional decision commits an offence. The maximum penalty upon conviction is a fine of $500,000 and imprisonment for five years.

Members of the public may report any suspected violations of the TDO to the Customs 24-hour hotline 2545 6182.

Ends/Friday, December 23, 2016

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