E-Commerce Display Violations: Government of India Issued 448 Infringement Notices to E-Commerce Companies

Department of Consumer Affairs and its legal metrology department sent 448 notifications e-commerce companies since October 2020 for violating the rules for displaying the country of origin of goods and other information on their website or portal.

Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ashwini Kumar Chubi gave a written response to questions raised in the Lok Sabha “on whether the government is proposing to develop a proper mechanism for conducting regular checks on e-commerce platforms with rules related to the display of maximum retail price, seller details, manufacturer name and country of origin.” .

The Ministry charged these companies with a fine of Rs 77,90,500 for violating the rules. Department of legal metrology under the department ministry of consumer affairsresponsible for finding the country of origin of goods sold on e-commerce marketplaces.

This was reported by ET on March 25.
that Meesho from Bangalore received a similar notification on New Year’s Eve.

The country of origin rule has become critical since the 2020 India-China border conflict. Amazon India was the first company to be fined for non-compliance.

In 2020, the government made it mandatory for sellers to indicate the country of origin of products and other information such as MRP and seller details on their platforms. The amount of the fine, however, is relatively less for companies like Amazon and Walmart-backed Flipkart, as their gross value of goods is in the billions of dollars a year.

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Both of these companies also faced the challenge of updating their existing product list and ensuring that their new products are listed with the required information, especially country of origin. Since 2020, the government has held several meetings with leading retailers to brief them on its position, which suggests that such a rule could give a boost to domestic product development.

According to a recent survey by LocalCircles, a public social media platform, one in two consumers who shop online typically fail to find MRP and country of origin information. Additionally, four out of five e-commerce shoppers said they couldn’t find a product’s expiration date. LocalCircles said it has received screenshots from consumers regarding these issues, which have also been discussed with the government.

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