Customs patrols protecting Golden Week tourists

Hong Kong retailers are being watched under a Customs and Excise Department (C&ED) exercise aimed at protecting tourists shopping during Golden Week.

Under Operation Aegis, C&ED patrols have been stepped up in shopping spots frequented by tourists.

In particular, they will be watching ginseng and dried-seafood shops and medicine shops in such areas as Causeway Bay, Mong Kok, Tsim Sha Tsui, Wan Chai and Yau Ma Tei, say Trade Descriptions Investigation Bureau deputy-head Wong Hing-man, and the Unfair Trade Practice Investigation divisional commander Sun Wai-yee.

The C&ED is also reminding retail shops and tourist industry workers to abide by the Trade Descriptions Ordinance (TDO). Under the TDO, retailers who trade unfairly, make false trade descriptions in relation to goods including misleading omissions, are aggressive or who bait-and-switch commit an offence. The maximum penalty upon conviction is a HK$500,000 ($64,000) fine and imprisonment for five years.

Shoppers are reminded they should have a full understanding of the product specifications before purchase. They should do price comparisons and patronise shops with a good reputation. They are also reminded to check carefully the price and unit of measurement before making payment, and retain receipts.

There is a Customs hotline for members of the public to report suspected violations of the TDO.

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