Amazon has made the ‘country of origin’ tag mandatory for sellers from July 21 onwards, after the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) told e-commerce companies to do so.
In the email to sellers, Amazon said that the ‘country of origin’ is a mandatory attribute, in accordance with the Legal Metrology Act, 2009. “You will be required to provide information for "country of origin" mandatorily for all your new and existing listings,” Amazon told sellers.
This is done so that customers can get detailed information regarding the product prior to purchase, and that the seller will be responsible for accuracy, Amazon added.
Sellers who fail to do so by August 10 will see enforcement action, including suppression of listing, Amazon said.
Amazon reportedly has around 6 lakh sellers in India.
The DPIIT had set a deadline of August 1 to e-commerce companies to list the country of origin.
Last week, Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan had said that state governments had been directed to strictly enforce the provision that requires companies and e-commerce players to display the 'country of origin' on all products.
The provision of declaration of 'country of origin' has been in place since January 2018 for all manufacturers, importers, packers and e-commerce players. The commerce ministry has now been asked to ensure that e-commerce players also comply with this rule strictly, he said.
Whether a product is sold through an offline or online platform, it is mandatory to display 'country of origin' besides other details like maximum retail price (MRP), day of expiry, net quantity and consumer care details, he said.
In January 2018, the government amended the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011 to add a new provision mandating declaration of 'country of origin' for manufacturers, importers, packers and e-commerce entities. The provision for declarations on e-commerce sites is made under sub-rule 10 of rule 6 of the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011.
On penal action against violators, Consumer Affairs Secretary Leena Nandan said Section 36 of the Legal Metrology Act provides a penalty of up to Rs 1 lakh and also imprisonment for a term of one year. They will be fined Rs 25,000 for a first offence, Rs 50,000 for a second offence, and a subsequent offence can have a fine of Rs 1 lakh, a one-year jail term or both.
The move comes in the backdrop of a huge movement in the country to ban Chinese goods which is seeing a groundswell following the clash at Galwan Valley with China.
With inputs from agencies