Hong Kong Customs proactively works on publicity and education to combat unfair trade practices (with photos)

5 Sep 2022

Hong Kong Customs last month launched a publicity campaign themed "Combating Against Unfair Trade Practice, Addressing People's Concerns and Difficulties in Daily Life" to enhance public awareness of the Trade Descriptions Ordinance (TDO), with a view to safeguarding consumer rights.

Customs has published promotional and educational information titled "Smart Shopping in August" on its official social media accounts. A promotional video and a series of four-panel comics were used to unveil common unfair trade practices in the fitness, renovation, employment agency and beauty service industries. The information reminded consumers to stay alert and avoid falling into consumer pitfalls.

Moreover, Customs also deployed officers to conduct publicity campaigns at newly established public housing estates in Tuen Mun District to remind members of the public about common unfair trade practices in renovation services. Some tips and key points on procurement of renovation services were also provided. At the same time, Customs officers also promoted compliance with the renovation traders to remind them to comply with the TDO.

Customs will continue its three-pronged strategy, namely stringent enforcement, compliance promotion as well as public education and publicity, to safeguard consumer rights under the TDO.

Customs reiterates that the TDO prohibits unfair trade practices deployed by traders against consumers, including false trade descriptions of services, misleading omissions, aggressive commercial practices, bait advertising, bait-and-switch and wrongly accepting payment. The maximum penalty upon conviction is a fine of $500,000 and imprisonment for five years.

Members of the public may report any suspected violations of the TDO to Customs' 24-hour hotline 2545 6182 or its dedicated crime-reporting email account (crimereport@customs.gov.hk).

Ends/Monday, September 5, 2022

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