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Jan retail sales up 0.9%

The value of total retail sales in January, provisionally estimated at $36.5 billion, rose 0.9% compared with the same month in 2023, the Census & Statistics Department announced today.   After netting out the effect of price changes over the same period, the provisional estimate represents a 1.2% year-on-year decrease.   Of the total retail sales value in January, online sales accounted for 6.5%. Provisionally estimated at $2.4 billion, the value of this segment went down by 20.9% compared with a year earlier.   Noting that retail sales tend to show greater volatility in the first two months of a year due to the timing of the Lunar New Year, the department said the year-on-year comparison of the figures might have been affected to a certain extent.   The value of sales of jewellery, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts increased 25.2% compared with January 2023.   Increases were also recorded in the sales of other consumer goods not elsewhere classified (up 7

Food trade measures implemented

The scope of the Professional Certification System (PCS) will be expanded to cover general restaurant licence applications starting from February 1, the Food & Environmental Hygiene Department announced today.

 

With a view to streamlining application procedures, shortening processing times and facilitating compliance with the licensing requirements, the department introduced the PCS in March 2023 as an additional option for light refreshment restaurant and food factory licence applicants to obtain full licences.

 

Applicants can choose between the existing system, whereby a full licence is issued upon complete of a final on-site check by a department officer, or the PCS, which adopts a licence first, inspection later approach.

 

Under the PCS, the department accepts a Certificate of Compliance and final layout plans provided by an authorised person or a registered structural engineer as certification for compliance with all health requirements for the issuance of a full licence.

 

After issuing a full licence, the department’s staff will conduct on-site audit checks to confirm premises’ compliance with all health requirements.

 

If any information in the documents is found to be incorrect, false or misleading, or if the declaration made is found to be false after on-site audit checks, the department will carry out follow-up action. This may include instigating prosecution, cancellation of the licence issued or referring the case to other departments for follow-up.


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