Hong Kong Customs combats unfair trade practices at medicine shop

4 Apr 2023

​Hong Kong Customs today (April 4) arrested a salesman of a medicine shop suspected to have applied a false trade description in the course of selling a Chinese herbal medicine, in contravention of the Trade Descriptions Ordinance (TDO).

Customs earlier received information alleging that a salesperson of a medicine shop in Jordan claimed that a Chinese herbal medicine was being sold at a specific price per catty and further used a gift to attract a customer. After the Chinese herbal medicine was sliced, the salesperson revealed that the medicine was priced per tael. The charged price was 16 times different from what was expected.

After an in-depth investigation, Customs officers today arrested a 28-year-old salesman of the medicine shop concerned.

An investigation is ongoing and the arrested man was held for inquiry.

Customs has all along been concerned about visitors being misled to make purchases by unfair trade practices and has established a Quick Response Team to handle urgent complaints lodged by short-haul visitors. The complaints will be promptly referred to investigators to handle with priority.

With the Easter holiday and the Labour Day Golden Week period approaching, Customs will continue to step up inspection and enforcement to vigorously combat unfair trade practices.

Customs reminds traders to comply with the requirements of the TDO and consumers to purchase products from reputable shops. Consumers should also be cautious about the unit price and ask for more information, including the total price of the goods selected, before making a purchase decision.

Under the TDO, any person who in the course of any trade or business applies a false trade description to any goods 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, April 4, 2023

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