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Hong Kong Customs publishes case booklet to combat unfair trade practices (with photo)
     The Customs and Excise Department (C&ED) today (March 19) issued a new edition of a booklet on cases of successful prosecutions under the Trade Descriptions Ordinance to strengthen the department's anti-unfair trade practice publicity efforts. The booklet strengthens the knowledge of traders and consumers on the Ordinance, and also serves to promote a sense of compliance and remind readers on the significance of consumer rights protection.

     Entitled "Booklet on cases under the Trade Descriptions Ordinance (Cap. 362) 2nd Edition", the new booklet gives a comprehensive introduction to the six types of prohibited unfair trade practices commonly used by traders to trap consumers. The unfair trade practices are false trade descriptions, misleading omissions, aggressive commercial practices, bait advertising, bait-and-switch and wrongly accepting payment. Apart from extracting the relevant regulations under the Ordinance, the booklet also explains the "acceptance of an undertaking" arrangement under the "civil compliance-based mechanism" so that members of the public can deepen their understanding of the Ordinance's mechanism.

     In order to help readers gain an understanding of the various types of unfair trade practices in a concrete manner, 17 selected cases of successful prosecutions are presented in writing and as lively comics, offering readers a simple way to look into the cases and the court sentences.

     Using the same mode of presentation, the booklet also introduces four cases that ended up with the "acceptance of an undertaking" arrangement.

     The selected cases cover a wide range of arenas and are all typical of their kinds. Various aspects of daily consumption activities, ranging from those involving supermarkets, restaurants, herbal medicine shops and beauty and fitness centres to automobile trading, precious metal investment and hiring agent and sports coach services, are included. All the cases selected serve well as an alert and are of high reference value to both traders and consumers.

     The full text of the booklet has been uploaded to the C&ED website at (www.customs.gov.hk/filemanager/common/pdf/TDO_Case_Booklet_en.pdf). Printed copies are available to members of public at the Customs Headquarters Building (Customer Service Centre, 3/F, 222 Java Road, North Point) and the consumer advice centres of the Consumer Council.

     Apart from the booklet, a series of short videos will also be rolled out later to further enhance public understanding of the Ordinance.

     As at the end of December 2017, a total of 302 successful prosecutions had been concluded since the amended Ordinance came into effect in July 2013.

     Customs reiterated that it will continue its three-pronged strategy, namely stringent enforcement, compliance promotion and public education, to safeguard consumer rights under the TDO.
Ends/Monday, March 19, 2018
Issued at HKT 15:00
Today's Press Releases  


The Customs and Excise Department today (March 19) issued a new edition of a booklet with an aim of deepening the understanding of traders and consumers on the Trade Descriptions Ordinance. It also serves to promote a sense of compliance and remind readers on the significance of consumer rights protection.