Retailers fined for selling short-weighted fruits

8 Sep 2011

With the approach of the Mid-Autumn Festival, the Customs and Excise Department (C&ED) today (September 8) reminds members of the public to be alert for unscrupulous traders selling short-weighted goods.

Seven fruit retailers have been fined from $1,000 to $3,400 under the Weights and Measures Ordinance after pleading guilty in court to selling short-weighted fruits in the first eight months of this year. Another ten fruit traders will be prosecuted shortly for the same offence.

During the past few months, officers of the C&ED, posing as customers, conducted test buys and bought fruits such as grapes, longans, lychees, mangosteens, cumquats and cherries from various retailers in Causeway Bay, Wan Chai, Aberdeen, Kwun Tong, Mong Kok, Jordan, Tsuen Wan and Yuen Long.

Investigations revealed that among the 17 traders, an itinerant fruit hawker had sold short-weighted cherries to the officers with an inaccurate scale while the rest had claimed the weight of goods sold to the officers was heavier than the actual weight.

Examinations by the Government Laboratory found that the shortage between the net weight and the claimed weight of the fruits ranged from 5 per cent to 35 per cent.

A spokesman for the Customs said that Customs officers would continue to take stringent enforcement action against short-weight activities to protect consumers' interests and uphold a fair trading environment.

Under the Weights and Measures Ordinance, any person who in the course of trade supplies goods to another person by weight or measure should supply the goods in net weight or net measure. Any shortage in the quantity purporting to be supplied is an offence. The maximum penalty is a fine of $10,000. Moreover, any person who uses for trade or has in his possession for use for trade any weighing or measuring equipment which is false or defective commits an offence. The maximum penalty is a fine of $20,000.

The Customs also appeals to the public to report cases of suspected short-weight offences to the department by calling the 24-hour hotline 2545 6182.

Ends/Thursday, September 8, 2011

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