Hong Kong Customs conducts enforcement action against online shop suspected of supplying water filter cartridge with false trade description

20 Sep 2022

Hong Kong Customs yesterday (September 19) arrested a male director of a trading company suspected of supplying a water filter cartridge with a false trade description, in contravention of the Trade Descriptions Ordinance (TDO).

Customs earlier received information alleging that a website was suspected of selling a water filter cartridge that fraudulently claimed to have the relevant water filter quality certification. After investigation, Customs officers mounted an enforcement operation yesterday and raided the trading company operating the website concerned. Twelve water filter cartridges suspected of contravening the TDO were seized. A 70-year-old male director of the company was also arrested.

An investigation is ongoing and the arrested man has been released on bail pending further investigation.

Customs reminds traders to comply with the requirements of the TDO. Consumers should procure products at reputable shops and should be cautious with online shopping.

When making online purchases, consumers should pay attention to the goodwill of the online companies or merchants. They are also reminded to contact trademark owners or traders for enquiries in case of doubt.

Customs has all along been concerned with illegal online sales activities, and appeals to consumers that they should stay vigilant in regard to online shopping. They should not purchase items of unknown sources and unusual prices offered at suspicious websites or social media platforms to prevent any losses that may be incurred.

Under the TDO, any person who applies a false trade description to goods or supplies goods with a false trade description in the course of trade or business commits an offence. The maximum penalty upon conviction is a fine of $500,000 and imprisonment for five years.

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

Ends/Tuesday, September 20, 2022

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