Hong Kong Customs alerts public on suspected unsafe portable UV disinfection devices (with photos)

17 Feb 2021

Hong Kong Customs today (February 17) announced that a total of 83 pieces of three models of suspected unsafe portable ultraviolet (UV) disinfection devices have been seized earlier. Members of the public should pay extra care with regards to safety when using such products as prolonged or a high dose exposure to ultraviolet C emitted by the disinfection devices may pose a potential health hazard to eyes and skin.

Customs earlier received referrals from a related organisation that six models of portable UV disinfection devices supplied in the market might carry the risk of emitting excessive irradiance of UV radiation. Customs officers immediately conducted inspections at different districts and successfully test-purchased two models for testing.

After initial investigations, the relevant products were suspected to have failed to comply with the general safety requirements of the Consumer Goods Safety Ordinance (CGSO). Customs officers then conducted an operation and seized a total of 70 pieces of those two models of suspected unsafe portable UV disinfection devices from a retail shop in Tsim Sha Tsui and another retailer's office in Kwun Tong. During the operation, 13 pieces of another model of suspected unsafe portable UV disinfection device referred by the related organisation were also found at the abovementioned office.

Apart from the retailers in connection with the case, Customs officers also conducted spot checks and inspections in various districts. Those three models of products have not been found on sale so far.

An investigation is ongoing.

Customs reminds members of the public to observe the following safety tips when purchasing and using portable UV disinfection device products:

Customs has been combating consistently the sale of products that fall short of the CGSO. Law enforcement action will be taken immediately if any violation of the CGSO is detected. Customs also reminds traders to comply with the requirements of the CGSO in order to protect the safety of consumers.

Under the CGSO, it is an offence to supply, manufacture or import into Hong Kong consumer goods unless the goods comply with the general safety requirement for consumer goods. 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 with information relating to unsafe consumer goods may make a report via Customs' 24-hour hotline 2545 6182 or its dedicated crime-reporting email account (crimereport@customs.gov.hk).

Ends/Wednesday, February 17, 2021

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