The Centre has issued notices to e-commerce majors Amazon and Flipkart for not mandatorily displaying information, including country of origin, on specific products sold on their platforms. The development comes at a time when Amazon and Flipkart are running their ‘Great Indian Festival’ and ‘Big Billion Days’ respectively this week.
The notices dated October 16, 2020, have been issued by the Department of Consumer Affairs, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution. While notices have been issued to Amazon and Flipkart, the department has asked the states to ensure compliance of rules by all e-commerce companies.
In its notices to both the companies, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs said that on examining the concerned advertisements, it was found that some of the e-commerce entities are not displaying the mandatory declarations as required under the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules of 2011. The two companies, as per the notices, have not provided the mandatory declaration.
“It has been brought into notice that some of the e-commerce entities are not displaying the mandatory declaration on digital platforms required under the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011,” the notice said. Both the companies however did not comment on the issue of notices. They have been asked to reply within 15 days else action will be initiated against them.
The Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules provides that an e-commerce entity has to ensure that the mandatory declarations (including the country of origin), except the month and year in which the commodity is manufactured or packed, “shall be displayed on the digital and electronic network used for e-commerce transactions”.
The marketplace model of e-commerce, responsibility for the correctness of the declarations lies with the manufacturer, seller, dealer or importer. While selling a product offline or online, it is mandatory to display ‘country of origin’ along with other details like maximum retail price (MRP), day of expiry, net quantity and consumer care details.