Skin care products company fined by court for false origin tonic lotion

23 Jan 2014

The Customs and Excise Department (C&ED) earlier prosecuted a trading-cum-manufacturing company of skin care products for applying a false trade description to a batch of tonic lotion and possessing such products for sale, suspected to be in contravention of the Trade Descriptions Ordinance (TDO). The company pleaded guilty at Tsuen Wan Magistracy on January 20 and was fined $12,000 in total for the offences. The goods seized, which were worth about $20,000, were confiscated.

A Customs spokesperson today (January 23) reminded traders to ensure that products for sale are in compliance with the statutory requirements of the TDO, in particular the place of manufacture of the goods.

After receiving a complaint in August 2013, the C&ED initiated a series of investigations regarding the company selling tonic lotion, which used a suspected false description of the place of manufacture. The investigation revealed that the company diluted tonic lotion concentrate imported from France before injecting the lotion into bottles in the company's factory premises. The company was also found to apply a misleading trade description by labelling the address of the French consultant company of the tonic lotion "69003 LYON, FRANCE" on the bottles to imply its place of manufacture. In the operation, a total of 58 bottles of tonic lotion with the false trade description were seized.

Under the TDO, any person who applies a false trade description to any goods in the course of trade or business, or that 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.

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

Ends/Thursday, January 23 2014

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