The Customs and Excise Department (Customs) today (December 14) reminded parents to watch out for potential hazards posed by a baby walking frame imported from the Mainland - and to stop using it.
Customs officers recently conducted spot checks on retailers supplying baby walking frames in different districts as part of safety checks. Test results showed that a baby walking frame of the brand name "BERICA" and model number J1403 imported from the Mainland was unsafe as it failed to comply with the prescribed standards, including the European Standard BS EN 1273:2005 and the American Society for Testing and Materials ASTM F977-07. In the test "for the prevention of falling down steps" when moving downward from steps, the walker did not come to a halt automatically, thus posing a risk of injury caused by infants falling down the steps.
The officers took follow-up action, and so far have seized a total of three walking frames from a retailer in Kwai Chung. Preliminary investigation revealed that the retailer imported nine sets of the walking frames direct from the Mainland for sale, but none of them had been supplied to other retailers.
A prohibition notice has been served on the retailer, prohibiting the supply of the walking frames. The Customs investigation is continuing with a view to taking further action against the retailer, including prosecution for infringing the Toys and Children's Products Safety Ordinance.
A Customs spokesman advised parents to watch out for potential hazards when selecting children's products for their infants and children.
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, consumers may call the Customs 24-hour hotline 2545 6182 or write to the Consumer Protection Bureau, Customs and Excise Department, 14/F, Customs Headquarters Building, 222 Java Road, North Point, Hong Kong.
Ends/Tuesday, December 14, 2010