A retailer and its supplier have been convicted of supplying for sale disinfecting spray with false trade descriptions applied and without bilingual warnings or cautions, in contravention of the Trade Descriptions Ordinance (TDO) and the Consumer Goods Safety Regulation (CGSR) respectively, at Kwun Tong Magistrates' Courts.
The retailer involved was fined $2,000 on April 14 this year while the supplier involved was fined $8,000 today (October 20). Moreover, the court also ordered the confiscation of about 500 bottles of disinfecting spray seized in the case. The total value of the products was about $70,000.
Hong Kong Customs conducted a test-buy operation according to a report on disinfecting spray announced by a relevant organisation. A type of disinfecting spray was test-purchased from a retailer for composition testing. Test results revealed that the composition of the product was different from what had been declared on the packaging box and the product also failed to bear bilingual warnings or cautions, in contravention of the TDO and the CGSR respectively.
After a follow-up investigation, Customs officers mounted an enforcement action and searched the office of the retailer concerned in Causeway Bay and the storehouse of its upstream supplier in Kwun Tong. A batch of about 500 bottles of disinfecting spray and documents related to the case were seized.
Under the TDO, any person who supplies goods with a false trade description in the course of trade or business, or is in possession of any goods for sale with a false trade description, commits an offence. The maximum penalty upon conviction is a fine of $500,000 and imprisonment for five years.
Under the CGSR, where consumer goods or their packages are marked with warnings or cautions with respect to their safe keeping, use, consumption or disposal, such warnings or cautions shall be in both English and Chinese languages. Moreover, the warning or caution phrases must be legibly and conspicuously shown on the goods, any package of the goods, a label securely affixed to the package or a document enclosed in the package. The maximum penalty upon conviction is a fine of $100,000 and imprisonment for one year on first conviction, and $500,000 and imprisonment for two years on subsequent conviction.
Members of the public may report any suspected violations of the TDO or the CGSR to Customs' 24-hour hotline 2545 6182 or its dedicated crime-reporting email account (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Ends/Thursday, October 20, 2022