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Trade descriptions notices to be gazetted

The Trade Descriptions (Unfair Trade Practices) (Amendment) Ordinance 2012 (Commencement) Notice (the Commencement Notice) made by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, as well as the Trade Descriptions (Powers Not Exercisable by Communications Authority) Notice (the CA Notice) made by the Chief Executive in Council, will be published in the Gazette on Friday (May 24).

The Commencement Notice appoints July 19, 2013, as the day on which the Trade Descriptions (Unfair Trade Practices) (Amendment) Ordinance 2012 (the Amendment Ordinance) comes into operation. The CA Notice specifies the enforcement powers that are not exercisable by the Communications Authority (CA) in its enforcement of the amended Trade Descriptions Ordinance (TDO) over the commercial practices of telecommunications and broadcasting licensees on which it has concurrent jurisdiction.

"The concurrent jurisdiction conferred upon the CA is confined to the commercial practices of telecommunications and broadcasting licensees that are directly connected with the provision of the relevant licensed services. The powers excised by the CA Notice, such as those pertaining to goods, are not necessary for the CA to discharge its statutory functions under the amended TDO," a spokesman for the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau said today (May 22).

The CA Notice will come into operation on the same day of commencement of the Amendment Ordinance on July 19, 2013.

The Amendment Ordinance amends the TDO by extending its coverage to prohibit specified unfair trade practices deployed by traders against consumers, including false trade descriptions of services, misleading omissions, aggressive commercial practices, bait advertising, bait-and-switch and wrongly accepting payment. The Customs and Excise Department is the principal enforcement agency. The Amendment Ordinance confers upon the CA concurrent jurisdiction over the commercial practices of licensees under the Telecommunications Ordinance and the Broadcasting Ordinance that are directly connected with the provision of telecommunications or broadcasting services (as the case may be).

Wednesday, May 22, 2013