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Chain retailer, distributor and importer convicted of applying false trade description as well as supplying and possessing nutritional calcium supplement with false trade description

9 September 2022


A chain retailer of personal care products, a distributor and an importer were fined a total of $134,000 at Shatin Magistrates' Courts after being convicted of applying a false trade description as well as supplying and being in possession of a nutritional calcium supplement to which a false trade description had been applied for the purpose of trade, in contravention of the Trade Descriptions Ordinance (TDO), on August 19 and today (September 9) respectively. A total of 1 702 bottles and 48 000 tablets of nutritional calcium supplement involved in the case were also confiscated.

Hong Kong Customs earlier received information alleging that a type of nutritional calcium supplement with suspected false descriptions of ingredients was being supplied in the market. Customs officers then test-purchased the supplement concerned from a branch in Sheung Wan of a chain retailer of personal care products and sent the samples to an accredited laboratory for testing. Test results revealed that the amount of Vitamin D3 contained in each tablet of the nutritional calcium supplement was 9.22 international units (IU) only, falling short by more than 96 per cent when compared to 250 IU as stated in the product's claim.

Customs reminds traders to comply with the requirements of the TDO. Consumers are also reminded to purchase products at reputable shops and to have clear knowledge of the product details and claims before purchase.

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 violation of the TDO to Customs' 24-hour hotline 2545 6182 or its dedicated crime-reporting email account (crimereport@customs.gov.hk).

Ends/Friday, September 9, 2022

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