Speeches and Presentations

LegCo passes legislation aimed at stamping out unfair trade practices

The Trade Descriptions (Unfair Trade Practices) (Amendment) Bill 2012 was passed by the Legislative Council today (July 17).

The Bill seeks to tackle various common types of unfair practices that may be deployed by rogue traders against consumers.

By creating new offences against such practices as false trade descriptions of services, misleading omissions, aggressive commercial practices, bait advertising, bait-and-switch and wrongly accepting payment, and by strengthening enforcement mechanisms, the Bill buttresses the consumer protection regime in Hong Kong.

The Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Gregory So, said, "We are grateful to members of the Legislative Council, the Consumer Council, trade and industry associations and consumer groups for offering invaluable comments at different stages of the legislative exercise. They all share the common goal of enhancing protection for consumers.

"By stamping out rogue practices, the Bill will help maintain a fair market and benefit both honest traders and consumers. We will work together with stakeholders on the implementation of the Bill.

"We will conduct publicity campaigns and public education activities and prepare enforcement guidelines. We aim to bring the Bill into operation next year," he added.

In July 2010, the Government consulted the public on the proposals in the Bill, which received wide community support. The Bill was introduced into the Legislative Council in February 2012.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012