Top e-tailers get notices on ‘country of origin’ info


NEW DELHI/BENGALURU: The consumer affairs ministry on Friday issued notices to two ecommerce players Amazon and Flipkart for not displaying information, including country of origin of products sold on their platforms, which is mandatory.
The government has been insisting on country of origin disclosures, which are being strictly enforced after tension with China escalated. Government officials said the two ecommerce players have still not followed the norms for a large number of products. They have been asked to furnish details of sellers and the police station under whose jurisdiction the sellers come.
The companies have been asked to reply to the notices within 15 days on why action should not be taken against them for violating norms.
Government sources said this is not a new prescription but was provided in the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodity) Rules, 2011.
The ministry has also issued a circular to the state government authorities, directing the field staff to ensure that e-commerce companies are complying with the norms,
which specify that all such platforms need to mention the country of origin, except the month and year in which the commodity is manufactured or packed on the digital and electronic network used for ecommerce transactions.
“In the case of the marketplace model of e-commerce, responsibility for the correctness of declarations lie with the manufacturer or seller or dealer or importer,” it said.
Spokespersons for Flipkart and Amazon India did not respond to TOI’s query. “The last round of discussion with the government happened on this issue last month, where we had updated them, saying new product listings are compliant with the county of origin directive, while the work was still on for existing products,” an e-commerce executive said.
The development comes at a time when both Flipkart and Amazon India have just started their annual festive season sales, amid the pandemic. E-tailers have reiterated to government officials that country of origin compliance for their existing products would be an arduous task as it runs into hundreds of millions.



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