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Customs alerts public on unsafe "walking stick with folding stool" (with photos)

     The Customs and Excise Department today (November 4) alerted members of the public on the potential hazards posed by a "walking stick with folding stool", and advised purchasers to stop using it for safety sake.

     After laboratory tests on the safety of the product with reference to the European Standards for strength, stability and safety requirements for outdoor seating, Customs found that the product could not pass the required safety standard. One of the legs of the product broke during seat impact tests and the seat overturned during the sideways balancing tests. The test results indicated that the product would possibly pose falling and injury hazards to many users.

     Customs officers subsequently seized from the retailer and the wholesaler concerned 171 of the walking sticks.  Prohibition notices were served to the aforementioned parties, prohibiting them from supplying the product in the market. Investigation is continuing.

     A Customs spokesman said, "To ensure that consumer goods in the market comply with the general safety requirements under the Consumer Goods Safety Ordinance, the department will continue to conduct spot checks on retailers and draw samples for safety tests. The department will also organise seminars for the trade regularly to promote their awareness of consumer goods safety and help them observe the requirements of the ordinance."

     Under the ordinance, it is an offence to supply, manufacture or import consumer goods into Hong Kong unless they comply with general safety requirements. 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.

     To report unsafe consumer goods, please call the Customs 24-hour hotline 2545 6182 or write to the Consumer Protection Bureau (1), Customs and Excise Department, 14/F, Customs Headquarters Building, 222 Java Road, North Point, Hong Kong.

Ends/Tuesday, November 4, 2014
Issued at HKT 16:14


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