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Analytical & Advisory Services Division

Product Testing & Dutiable Commodities Section

[ About the Section | Responsibilities |
  Quality Assurance | Key Instruments | Targets and Key Indicators ]
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About the Section

Chinese liquor samples
Chinese liquor samples

The Section provides analytical and advisory support to the Customs and Excise Department (C&ED) in the enforcement of legislation concerning revenue collection and consumer protection. Analytical services are provided to support their statutory functions under various regulations and ordinances. Samples of government purchases are also sent to this section by the Government Logistics Department for determining whether the products are in compliance with tender specifications. Testing services on miscellaneous commodities such as flexible gas tubing and parts of endangered species are also provided to various government departments.

A wide variety of dutiable commodities such as spirits, liquors, cigarettes & cigars, manufactured tobacco, diesel fuels and petrol are analysed for duty assessment under the Dutiable Commodities Ordinance. Tar and nicotine yields of about a hundred brands of cigarettes marketed in Hong Kong are routinely monitored for implementation of a cigarette testing programme, which is devised in accordance with Smoking (Public Health) Ordinance to provide enforcement authority and the public with updated information on tar and nicotine yields of cigarettes on sale in Hong Kong. Verification for compliance with Weights and Measures Ordinance is performed on a variety of measuring equipment and pre-packed goods. Toys and children's products are tested against safety standards prescribed in Toys and Children's Products Safety Ordinance while other consumer goods are tested for compliance with Consumer Goods Safety Ordinance.


This Section helps to implement the following Ordinances of Hong Kong:

  • Dutiable Commodities Ordinance and subsidiary Regulations
  • Smoking (Public Health) Ordinance and subsidiary Regulations
  • Weights and Measures Ordinance
  • Toys and Children's Products Safety Ordinance and subsidiary Regulation
  • Consumer Goods Safety Ordinance and subsidiary Regulation
  • Gas Safety Ordinance and subsidiary Regulations

Quality Assurance

About 10% of the tests conducted in the Section are for QC purposes.

Key Instruments

Universal Testing Machine
Universal Testing Machine

The following instruments are used routinely by the Section:

  • Gas chromatographs with micro-electron capture detector (µ-ECD), flame ionisation detector (FID), flame photometric detector (FPD), thermal conductivity detector (TCD) and mass selective detector (MSD)
  • Gas chromatograph with thermal energy analyzer (TEA) and nitrogen phosphorus detector (NPD)
  • Gas chromatograph with Orbitrap mass spectrometer
  • Gas chromatographs with tandem mass spectrometer (MS/MS)
  • Liquid chromatographs with tandem mass spectrometer (MS/MS) and photo diode array (PDA) detector
  • Liquid chromatograph and ion chromatograph with inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (LC/IC-ICPMS)
  • Inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometer (ICP-OES)
  • Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (ICP-MS)
  • Ion chromatograph with UV detector and conductivity detector
  • X-ray fluorescence spectrometer (XRF)
  • Fourier transform infrared spectrometer (FTIR) with attenuated total reflection
  • Ultraviolet/Visible spectrophotometer
  • Density meter with auto-sampler
  • Handle strength tester for wheeled child conveyances
  • Smoking machine
  • Test rig for pushchair endurance test
  • Automated testing equipment for safety testing of bunk beds and children cots
  • Universal testing machine
  • Walk-in controlled environmental chamber
  • Flow-injection mercury analyzer
  • Ozone resistance test cabinet
  • Microwave digestion system

Targets and Key Indicators

Key Performance Measures Relating to the Statutory Testing

Targets #

Testing Targets 2019
Dutiable and other commodities within reporting time averaging 10 working days (%) 95 100 99 95
Toys and children's products within reporting time averaging 15 working days (%) 95 99 99 95
Consumer goods within reporting time averaging 35 working days (%) 95 100 98 95

For targets where reporting time is mentioned, different samples require different analytical procedures, hence different reporting time. The quoted number of working days required represents an average of reporting time for the different types of samples and test requests within the category, while the target (in percentage) is the total compliance rate of the concerned samples and test requests within a particular category against their respective targets.

Key Indicators

Key Indicators for Statutory Testing

Tests Performed 2019
Dutiable and other commodities 7,759 6,688 6,000
Cigarette samples 12,912 13,860 13,000
Toys and children's products 20,708 21,465 21,500
Consumer goods 11,970 12,150 12,000