A shopkeeper of an electrical appliance retailer was sentenced today (April 13) to 10 weeks' imprisonment after being convicted by the Shatin Magistrates' Courts for possessing and supplying a brand of kitchen range hoods in contravention of the Trade Descriptions Ordinance (TDO).
The motor speed of the range hood in question had been overstated by three times of its actual performance. Two kitchen range hoods were ordered forfeited.
The Customs and Excise Department (C&ED) reminded electrical appliance retailers to provide accurate product information, including specification, origin and performance, in order to comply with the TDO.
The department received a complaint in June last year about an electrical appliance shop in Shatin supplying a brand of kitchen range hoods with the motor speed substantially overstated. Customs officers posed as customers and conducted investigation to the shop.
During investigation, the officers found in the shop a kitchen range hood displayed for sale with a cardboard showing the description of "RPM-3880". Promoting the product, the shopkeeper claimed to the officers that the range hood had a motor speed of 3,880 revolutions. After making test purchase of the product, the officers inspected the product immediately and found a specification label stating that it had a motor speed of 1,350 revolutions only. Officers then revealed their identity and seized the range hood on display for further investigation.
A test by the Hong Kong Polytechnic University on the seized range hoods later confirmed that their maximum motor speed was about 1,300 revolutions. And the shopkeeper was subsequently charged by the department.
The Deputy Head of the Trade Descriptions and Transhipment Controls Bureau of the C&ED, Mr Kenneth Szeto, said that as the ventilation performance of range hoods was directly proportional to their motor speed, unscrupulous traders may overstate the performance of their product to mislead consumers.
"The department will continue to crack down on dishonest supply of goods that bear false trade descriptions," said Mr Szeto.
Mr Szeto stressed that any person, in the course of trade or business, having in possession or supplying goods with a false trade description was a serious offence. Any person convicted of the offence is liable to a maximum penalty of a $500,000 fine and five years' imprisonment.
He appealed to traders to abide by the law and members of the public to report any suspected violations of the TDO through the Customs 24-hour hotline 2545 6182.
Ends/Tuesday, April 13, 2010