28th September 2023 – (Hong Kong) Today, Hong Kong Customs initiated an operation aimed at intensifying patrols in popular shopping areas across various districts during the National Day Golden Week. The objective is to remind traders about their obligations under the Trade Descriptions Ordinance (TDO) and ensure the protection of both local consumers and visitors.
In addition to conducting patrols in bustling shopping districts, Customs officers will actively raise awareness among retailers at dried seafood and ginseng shops, pharmacies, and jewellery stores in popular tourist areas such as Yau Tsim Mong and Causeway Bay. Retail shops and workers in the tourism industry will be strongly advised to adhere to the requirements outlined in the TDO.
Customs officials will also emphasise the importance of consumers, both local and visiting, having a comprehensive understanding of product specifications and conducting comparisons before making a purchase. They are encouraged to patronize reputable shops and exercise caution when checking the total price and unit price of goods prior to completing a transaction. It is recommended to keep transaction receipts and related records, as these can serve as valuable evidence in the event of future complaints.
Hong Kong Customs has consistently expressed concern regarding unfair trade practices that may mislead visitors into making purchases. To address this issue, they have established a Quick Response Team dedicated to promptly handling urgent complaints lodged by short-haul visitors. Such complaints will be swiftly referred to investigators for priority handling.
According to the provisions of the TDO, any trader found engaging in unfair trade practices, including the dissemination of false trade descriptions, misleading omissions, aggressive commercial practices, or bait and switch tactics, is liable to be charged with an offecse. Conviction carries a maximum penalty of a fine amounting to $500,000 and a prison term of up to five years.