Quilts seized for fooling buyers with impure wool and silk

Customs seize HK$472,000 of bedding and find it's falsely labelled as 100 per cent wool or silk

PUBLISHED : Friday, 13 June, 2014, 4:48am
UPDATED : Friday, 13 June, 2014, 4:48am

Customs has seized HK$472,000 worth of quilts that were labelled as being filled with 100 per cent wool or silk but were found to contain other types of fibre.

Tests showed only 30 per cent of the filling in some of the silk quilts was silk, while 80 per cent of the stuffing in the wool quilts was wool, a senior customs officer said.

False labelling was in breach of the Trade Descriptions Ordinance and carried up to five years in jail and a HK$500,000 fine, Bobbie Liu Hing-yuen, deputy head of the Customs and Excise Department's consumer protection bureau, said.

"It is difficult to judge the quality of goods by appearance," he said. "Consumers should stick to the brands [they are used to]."

Liu believed other fibre was added to maximise profits. It was the first seizure of its kind in the city, he said.

The department acted after receiving a complaint from a buyer who suspected their "wool quilt" was not as labelled. Officers found it did not contain 100 per cent wool.

Separately, officers also collected quilts labelled as 100 per cent silk. Tests showed the stuffing was also mixed with other fibre content.

Officers took action last week, seizing 502 silk quilts of the Teen Feel brand and 130 wool quilts of the Casablanca brand from department stores and other retail outlets across the city.

The quilts had a total retail value of HK$472,000.

No one was arrested as the officers needed more time to investigate and wait for the results of tests on all the quilts seized.

Liu said the products were manufactured outside Hong Kong.

The public is urged to report any suspected violations of the Trade Descriptions Ordinance to customs on its 24-hour telephone hotline: 2545 6182.