LANGUAGE
Last updated: September 18th 2019

Penalties

Activities / Violations
Entities That Can Be Held Responsible
Sanction(s)
 

Advertising and Promotion

Under Section 3(1): “Any person who publishes or causes to be published or takes part in the publication of any advertisement”
Fine, Jail, Other
Expand to view related litigation.
Enforcement Agency

Police; Person appointed by the Chief Executive to be an authorized officer

Analysis

Any person who is convicted of violating the prohibition on advertisements (Sec. 3 of the Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) Act) shall be subject to: (1) a fine not exceeding $10,000, or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months, or both, for a first conviction; or (2) a fine not exceeding $20,000, or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months, or both, for a second or subsequent conviction.

Note: the Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) Act provides specific penalties for select offenses under the Act, including: knowingly permitting banned advertisements in premises (Sec. 5); sales promotions of tobacco products (Sec. 9); product display at points of sale (Sec. 12A); knowingly permitting vending machine sales (Sec. 14(2)); and the sale of imitation tobacco products (Sec. 16).

Alternatively, for each of these offenses, the Chief Executive of the Health Sciences Authority has the discretion to “compound” any offense under the Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) Act or its regulations (as authorized by the Composition of Offences Regulations). In doing so, the person in violation agrees to pay a sum not exceeding one half of the amount of the maximum fine for the offense or $2,000, whichever is less, in exchange for having any further proceedings related to the offense dropped.

In addition, the Broadcasting Act provides penalties for any broadcasting licensee who violates a code of practice (Sec. 12). Although the law provides different penalties for repeat violations, to fully align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the penalty provisions should provide for a wider range of sanctions that includes corrective action and license suspension.

Sponsorship

Any broadcasting licensee who violates a sponsorship provision contained in one of the Infocomm Media Development Authority’s Codes of Practice
Fine, License suspension or revocation
Enforcement Agency

Infocomm Media Development Authority

Analysis

If the Infocomm Media Development Authority (“IMDA”) is “satisfied” that a broadcasting licensee has violated any relevant Code of Practice, the IMDA may: (1) cancel the license or suspend the license for such period as the IMDA thinks fit; (2) in the example of a class license, cancel or suspend the application of the class license for such period as the IMDA thinks fit; and/or (3) require payment of a fine “of such amount as the [IMDA] thinks fit.”

The penalties provided under the Broadcasting Act align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines because they provide for a range of penalties that includes fines and license suspension or revocation. In addition, the provisions grant the IMDA the authority to impose a fine in the amount it thinks fit.

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