´╗┐Customs alerts parents to watch out for toy safety (with photo)

8 Jul 2010

The Customs and Excise Department today (July 8) alerted parents to watch out for potential hazards posed by the plastic mat of a chess toy.

Customs officers recently conducted spot checks on retailers supplying chess toys in different districts. A number of chess toys were sent to the Government Laboratory for safety tests. Results showed that the plastic mat of a chess toy failed to meet the safety requirements of the prescribed safety standards for toys.

Results of the safety tests revealed that the thicknesses of the plastic chess mats were less than 0.038 mm, posing a suffocation hazard to children.

Customs follow-up actions are continuing. Preliminary investigation revealed that the chess toys were imported from Mainland China by two suppliers. A total of 139 sets of the chess toys have so far been seized from 15 retailers. The department has also served prohibition notices on them, prohibiting the supply of the chess toys. Should there be sufficient evidence, prosecution action will be taken against the companies concerned for offences under the Toys and Children's Products Safety Ordinance.

Customs officers also detected other chess toys containing thin plastic chess mats. Investigation is continuing. A Customs spokesman again reminded parents to stop children from playing with similar chess toys containing plastic mats to avoid accidents.

Customs conducts spot checks on the safety of toys and children's products to ensure their compliance with the safety requirements of the prescribed standards under the Toys and Children's Products Safety Ordinance in order to protect consumers' interests.

Under the Toys and Children's Products Safety Ordinance, it is an offence to import, manufacture or supply unsafe toys in Hong Kong.

The maximum penalty for the offence is a fine of $100,000 and imprisonment for one year on first conviction, and a fine of $500,000 and imprisonment for two years on subsequent conviction.

To report unsafe toys and children's products, the public can call the Customs 24-hour hotline 2545 6182 or write to the Consumer Protection Bureau, Customs and Excise Department, 11/F, North Point Government Offices, 333 Java Road, North Point.

Ends/Thursday, July 8, 2010

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