Woman convicted of supplying face masks with false trade descriptions online

6 Dec 2022

A 30-year-old woman was sentenced to community service of 120 hours at Kwun Tong Magistrates' Courts today (December 6) following an earlier conviction for supplying face masks with false trade descriptions online, in contravention of the Trade Descriptions Ordinance (TDO).

Customs earlier received information alleging that an online seller was suspected of applying false trade descriptions in the course of the sale of face masks through multiple social media accounts. After investigation, Customs officers found that the brand name and quantity of the goods provided by the online seller were materially different from the orders placed by the customers.

Customs has all along been concerned with illegal online sales activities and has strived to combat unfair trade practices on websites. Customs reminds traders to comply with the requirements of the TDO and refrain from engaging in unfair trade practices when supplying goods.

When making online purchases, consumers should pay attention to the goodwill of the online companies or merchants and beware of any possible leakage of personal information. In addition, before making a transactional decision and settling the payment, consumers should also take note of whether a complete and valid business address, as well as contact information, are provided on the websites or social media platform pages so that follow-up actions could be taken if encountering problems in the future. Consumers are also reminded to contact trademark owners or traders for enquiries in case of doubts.

Under the TDO, any person who in the course of any trade or business applies a false trade description to any goods, or supplies 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.

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/Tuesday, December 6, 2022

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