Mid-autumn is approaching, stepping into the hairy crab season. Since last Friday (15 December), Oceani-related and FEHD have launched a joint enforcement operation to conduct inspections at hairy crab retail outlets in various districts to ensure that hairy crabs sold in the market comply with relevant legal requirements and requirements, so as to protect consumers' rights and food safety.
Apart from monitoring the sale of hairy crabs, officers of the Centre for Food Safety and the Department of Environment and the Department of Environment of the Customs and C&HHD also check the source documents and health certificates of hairy crabs during inspections to ensure that the hairy crabs sold in the retail outlets are suitable for human consumption and comply with the requirements of the Trade Descriptions Ordinance, the Food Safety Ordinance and the Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance.
So far, officers from the two departments have inspected 45 hairy crab retail stores and have not found any illegal incidents. Relevant joint enforcement operations will continue.
In addition to conducting market inspections, Customs and Excise officers also used the big data system to conduct analysis to verify online stores selling hairy crabs to determine whether the online stores complied with the requirements of the Trade Descriptions Ordinance and strengthen the protection of consumers' rights and interests in online shopping.
Customs attaches great importance to the protection of consumer rights and interests, and if any suspected contravention of the Trade Descriptions Ordinance is detected in the market, it will take corresponding enforcement action immediately. Customs reminds merchants not to apply false trade descriptions to any goods or services; or the supply or offer to supply goods or services to which false trade descriptions have been applied. Contravention of the Trade Descriptions Ordinance is punishable on conviction with a maximum fine of $500,000 and imprisonment for five years.
FEHD reminds traders that under the Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance, all food sold in Hong Kong, whether imported or locally produced, must be fit for human consumption; Any person who carries on a food business without a licence or is not allowed to sell restricted food commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a maximum fine of $50,000 and imprisonment for six months. Under the Food Safety Ordinance, any person who fails to comply with the requirement to keep food entry and exit records without reasonable excuse commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a maximum fine of $10,000 and imprisonment for three months.
The Customs and Excise Department and FEHD remind the trade not to import or sell hairy crabs of unknown origin; Consumers should also patronize reputable merchants with licences for the sale of shellfish (hairy crabs) or relevant written permits issued by FEHD.
Members of the public who purchase hairy crabs suspected of falsely declaring their origin can call the Customs and Excise Department's 24-hour hotline at 2545 6182 or through the dedicated Crime Reporting Email Account (email@example.com). In addition, members of the public who suspect that a business operator does not hold the relevant licence/permission to sell hairy crabs or hairy crabs without health certificates can report by calling FEHD's hotline at 2868 0000 or through an email account (firstname.lastname@example.org).