Customs officers today (September 29) distributed pamphlets to the public in various districts to promote smart shopping and to remind traders to abide by the law.
The Acting Head of the Unfair Trade Practice Investigation Group of Hong Kong Customs, Mr Lai Ka-lok, said that today's action aimed at promoting smart shopping tips to consumers and detecting unfair trade practices in popular tourist shopping areas. The operation will continue through the holidays in late September and early October.
He reminded consumers to be cautious about unit prices, and to ask for more information, including the total price of goods, before making a purchase decision. When buying medicinal products, consumers should know the packaging of the brands and inspect the products thoroughly before purchase. Receipts should be kept for future reference. Consumers are encouraged to patronise reputable shops.
He also reminded traders to abide by the law. Under the Trade Descriptions Ordinance (TDO), a trader who engages in relation to a consumer in a commercial practice that omits or hides material information, or provides material information in a manner that is unclear, unintelligible, ambiguous or untimely, and as a result causes, or is likely to cause, an average consumer to make a transactional decision that the consumer would not have made otherwise, commits an offence.
Moreover, trade descriptions can be applied by whatever means including oral and written statements. Any person who in the course of any trade or business applies a false trade description to any goods commits an offence.
Under the TDO, the maximum penalty upon conviction is a fine of $500,000 and imprisonment for five years.
Complaints on suspected violations of the TDO can be made to the Customs 24-hour hotline 2545 6182.
Ends/Tuesday, September 29, 2015