Hong Kong Customs alerts public on unsafe plastic duck toy set (with photo)

6 Aug 2021

Hong Kong Customs today (August 6) reminded members of the public to stay alert to a model of unsafe plastic duck toy set (made up of one big duck and three small ducks). Test results indicated that the big duck's small part and the small ducks could pose suffocation risks to children. It was also found that the amount of phthalates (a type of plasticiser) contained in the toy exceeded the limit stipulated in the Toys and Children's Products Safety Ordinance (TCPSO) and its subsidiary legislation. To avoid an accident, parents should immediately stop their children playing with the toy set. Traders should also remove the toy set from their shelves.

Customs officers earlier conducted a test-buy operation on various models of children's toys from retailers in different districts for safety testing. Test results revealed that one model of plastic duck toy set had detachable small part in the big duck, while the three small ducks could also be swallowed by children and posed a risk of suffocation.

Results from the Government Laboratory also revealed the Class 1 and Class 2 phthalates contained in the toy set reached 24 per cent and 4.1 per cent of the total weight of the plasticised materials respectively, exceeding the limit of 0.1 per cent stipulated in the TCPSO and its subsidiary legislation.

Customs later conducted an operation and seized total 680 plastic duck toy sets of the same model from a warehouse and four branches of a department store chain. A prohibition notice was served at the same time to prohibit the continued sale of the toy set. Moreover, Customs officers also conducted spot checks and inspections in various districts and has found no such toy set for sale so far.

An investigation is ongoing.

Customs reminds members of the public that chronic exposure to plasticiser may harm children's health and cause liver, kidney, reproductive and development system toxicity. When purchasing and using toys and children's products, parents should observe the following safety tips:

Customs is committed to the protection of consumer interests and regularly conducts spot checks and safety tests on toys and children's products to ensure that they are reasonably safe for use by consumers.

Under the TCPSO, it is an offence to supply, manufacture or import unsafe toys or children's products. The maximum penalty upon conviction 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.

Members of the public may report information relating to suspected unsafe toys or children's products via Customs' 24-hour hotline 2545 6182 or its dedicated crime-reporting email account (crimereport@customs.gov.hk).

Ends/Friday, August 6, 2021

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