The Central Government has sent notices to as many as 148 e-commerce players in the past three months. The notices have been sent to e-commerce platforms for not complying with the mandatory display of the ‘country of origin’ tag on products sold on their platforms.
The Consumer Protection (Ecommerce) Rules, 2020, following tensions on the China border, the Indian government had mandated e-commerce sellers to display country of origin of products. The government had even fined Amazon for violating this requirement earlier as well, and an appeal was rejected by the Consumer Affairs Ministry in February.
A senior official told the Business Standard, “Out of 148 notices, ,56 have compounded it (the offence) and paid up to Rs. 34 lakh.” The official added, “every product has to display the country of origin, along with other basic information.”
Legal Metrology Act
All sellers who sell their products on e-commerce marketplaces must mention the name and details of any importer or seller, so that consumers can make an informed choice. Any violation of the requirement will attract a fine under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019.
Some products also come within the purview of Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011, and the Geographical Indications of Goods Registration and Protection Act, 1999. In case of a contravention, a penalty of up to Rs. 1 lakh can be imposed on such sellers.
The government has been trying to regulate the e-commerce sector strictly, and it has recently mandated platforms to appoint a nodal officer, who shall be responsible for all compliance with the laws.
You can read a copy of the Consumer Protection Rules, 2020, here.