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Retail shops fined for supplying unsafe laser pointers (with photo)

13 April 2016


Four retail shops were convicted today (April 13) at Kowloon City Magistrates' Courts for supplying unsafe laser pointers, in contravention of the Consumer Goods Safety Ordinance and the Consumer Goods Safety Regulation. Two of them were also found to be in contravention of the Trade Descriptions Ordinance. The four retail shops were fined $90,000 in total.

Customs officers earlier disguised as customers to test buy from the four retail shops four models of laser pointer for safety testing. The test results revealed that the four models were Class 3B or Class 4 laser products, with power output ranging from 28 milliwatts to 912 mW. They were not equipped with the safety device components required under the standard of the International Electrotechnical Commission, such as a warning device, beam stop and attenuator, and failed the safety test as a result. Customs officers have issued prohibition notices to the four retail shops prohibiting the sale of these products. Also, these four models of laser pointer were marked with a warning with respect to the use but in English only, which was not in compliance with the requirement set under the Consumer Goods Safety Regulation that such a warning shall be in both English and Chinese. In addition, two models of the samples were found to have a false claim on their class of laser product.

Since the beams emitted by the above-mentioned types of laser pointer can pose eye and skin injuries to users, members of the public are urged to avoid eye contact with the light dots emitted by such laser pointers under any circumstances. According to professional advice, a laser pointer with an output power of 1 mW is sufficient for presentation purposes.

Under the Consumer Goods Safety Ordinance, it is an offence to supply, manufacture or import into Hong Kong consumer goods unless the goods comply with the general safety requirements for consumer goods. Under the Consumer Goods Safety Regulation, where consumer goods or their packages are marked with any warning or caution with respect to their safe keeping, use, consumption or disposal, such warning or caution shall be in both the English and the Chinese languages. The maximum penalty for the offence 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.

Under the Trade Descriptions Ordinance, any person who, in the course of any trade or business, supplies or offers to supply any goods to which a false trade description is applied commits an offence.

To report unsafe consumer goods, please call the Customs 24-hour hotline 2545 6182 or write to the Consumer Protection Bureau, Customs and Excise Department, 14/F, Customs Headquarters Building, 222 Java Road, North Point, Hong Kong.

The four models of laser pointers which failed the safety test. (Opens a new window)
The four models of laser pointers which failed the safety test.

 

Ends/Wednesday, April 13, 2016

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