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Supplying unsafe deodorant powder liable to heavy penalty

  • 2002.09.30

Under the Consumer Goods Safety Ordinance, it is an offence to supply, manufacture or import unsafe consumer goods, including deodorant powder, into Hong Kong, a spokesman of the Customs and Excise Department said today (September 30).

The spokesman reiterated that the maximum penalty for the offence is a fine of $100,000 and an imprisonment for one year on first conviction, and $500,000 and two years' imprisonment on subsequent conviction.

"Members of the public are also advised not to purchase deodorant powder of dubious origins or from unreliable source. In case of any abnormal reaction, consumers should stop using the powder at once and seek medical advice," he said.

The Customs and Excise Department made the above appeal today after the Government Chemist confirmed that samples of a deodorant powder seized from a manufacturer this month contained high concentrations of mercury.

In the operation, Customs officers seized 870 boxes of "Goodfriend Deodorant Powder" from 11 locations. Testing results of the seized samples revealed that the mercury content of the product ranged from 41 000 to 71 000 parts per million (ppm).

After Customs operation, the manufacturer recalled the product from the retailers. In subsequent follow-up visits, no more "Goodfriend Deodorant Powder" was found in those retail outlets.

Customs investigation is continuing with a view to prosecuting the parties concerned for offences of manufacturing and supplying unsafe consumer goods under the Consumer Goods Safety Ordinance.

According to the Department of Health (DH), so far, there has been no reported case of mercury poisoning associated with the use of "Goodfriend Deodorant Powder". However, as a precautionary measure, members of the public are advised to stop using "Goodfriend Deodorant Powder". The public may call Customs hotline for enquiries at 2815 7711, Customs hotline for complaints at 2545 6182 or DH hotline at 2961 8966.

For complaints regarding unsafe consumer goods, consumers can write to the Consumer Protection and Prosecution Bureau of the Customs and Excise Department on the 11th floor, North Point Government Offices, 333 Java Road, North Point or call the Customs hotline at 2545 6182.

Source : HKSAR Government web page