Bills Committee on Electricity (Amendment) Bill 1996
Summary of Specific Comments on the Bill
(As at 10 September 1996)


Name of Organization


2, 3

Hong Kong & Kowloon Electric Trade Association (ETA)

(Appendix 7)

The proposed definition of "Supply" and the repealing of Section 24(1) would prohibit sales of products ordinarily intended for overseas market where, by virtue of different wiring practice, would require products that may be considered hazardous by The Bill’s interpretation.

Within the definition of the sub-clause (b) of "Supply", it would contravene The Bill even if hazardous products are duly returned back to manufacturers or simply being disposed of to junkyards for any residual values.


Hong Kong & Kowloon Electric Trade Association (ETA)

(Appendix 7)

Clipsal Asia Limited

(Appendix 4)

Due notification, in addition to Gazette, should be given on those isolated case to individuals.

In Clause 3 (b), the exemption for electrical products intended for use outside Hong Kong will be removed.

Removal of this exemption will induce great inconvenience to overseas visitors, students going to study aboard, emigrants, contract expatriate workers and frequent travellers etc. Foreseeable loss in the travel related businesses in Hong Kong will also be resulted. We strongly recommend to retain the exemption provided that the concerned electrical products shall be explicitly labelled for use outside Hong Kong. Or even more effective, the prices of the concerned electrical products shall be listed in overseas currency e.g. U.S. dollars in all retail outlets to identify in the first place that they are intended for use overseas.


Hong Kong & Kowloon Electric Trade Association (ETA)

(Appendix 7)

By the same token as in clause 3, clause 6, by substituting "Supply" in section 29(1) would prohibit exhibit or display of any products primarily for exports and re-exports in the territories.

ETA views the adverse impact on exports/re-exports business and the inconvenience to overseas visitors needs no further explanation on its exemplary damages and is a farcry from the recent recommendations put forth by the Task Force on Services Promotion by the Government.

Other "banned" products, notably transceivers, are currently available in the market, labelled "for export only" or "for use outside Hong Kong only". The same should have held valid for electrical appliances. ETA understands the concern of safety, mostly due to the incompatibility of plug and sockets. In this regards, ETA had recommended specifications for adaptors/plugs to satisfy the local needs but was declined, resulting in, now, being illegal to sell a 110V rice-cooker with a 2-pin plug to a customer from North America.


Hong Kong & Kowloon Electric Trade Association (ETA)

(Appendix 7)

ETA has no objection to section 56(A) PROVIDED that supplying products not intended for local use are allowed.

9, 10

Consumer Council

(Appendix 5)

The Council is concerned about the possibility of users being prosecuted for knowingly using the prohibited electrical products. The normal burden of proof is reversed , with the onus on the user to prove his innocence in the absence of contrary evidence. This is considered unacceptable. The power to intrude into households raises the risk of abuse and therefore as a matter of justice and equity the Consumer Council would support:

(a) The Burden of Proof should be on the prosecution requiring them to prove the offence beyond reasonable doubt;

(b) Checks and balances are of utmost importance in the enforcement such that a court order is necessary prior to the search of the private premises;

(c) A users’ committee should be set up with a review and appeal procedure to monitor the effectiveness of the Regulation; and

(d) The appeal procedure should include appeal against law enforcement agency’s decisions.


Hong Kong & Kowloon Electric Trade Association (ETA)

(Appendix 7)

Retail Management Association Limited

(Appendix 13)

Section 56B(3) would be quite difficult to comply: On one hand, there are not enough local provisions to verify and authenticate informations, like type test certificate, submitted by third parties, and DEMS had declined earlier to provide this facility. On the other hand, most members of ETA are not technical enough to judge correctness of informations. Hence ETA objects to this summary provision and views the liability in civil cases would provide enough deterrence.

Section 56B, Defence of due diligence

The Association is in the opinion that statement made in the said clause is very vague and should be more clearly specified. Such as the clause in 56B 1: "took all reasonable steps and exercised all due diligence to avoid committing the offence"


Hong Kong & Kowloon Electric Trade Association (ETA)

(Appendix 7)

Section 59(6)

ETA objects to this empowerment provision for SES. Unlike the power vested in DEMS of this enabling ordinance, of which it is clearly defined and contained, the proposed provision is subject to abuse and misuse.

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