The DPIIT will take cues from the American policy which proposes higher oversight of warehouses and higher fines and penalties for violations.

Govt to get tough on counterfeit products sold online in upcoming e-commerce policy
Atom E-commerce Thursday, January 30, 2020 - 18:13
Written by  S. Mahadevan

The government is keen to address the menace of counterfeit articles being sold through e-commerce platforms and a section in the upcoming ecommerce policy will be devoted to this. According to an Economic Times report, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) is looking at ways to control the sale of counterfeit products on the e-commerce platforms.

In this, DPIIT may borrow some ideas from the United States, where stringent measures are put in place to control this menace. These include surprise checks at the warehouses of the companies and levying heavy fines and penalties where the fake goods are detected.

More significantly, the effort will be to fix the responsibility on the e-commerce marketplace operator, like Amazon, so that they can create the right internal checks to prevent any of their sellers from posting counterfeit products for sale on their respective platforms.

The idea of taking cues from the US policy apparently came from the trade body Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) which has been fighting a battle of sorts with the online retail firms.

The e-commerce policy may include a clause which will make it mandatory for the sellers to declare that their products are genuine, and this declaration must be clearly visible to the customers who access these pages.

Another provision envisaged is to keep the original owner of the brand or trademark where counterfeit products are sold online, so that they can also initiate legal action to protect their turf in the market.

There may even be a suggestion to the effect that online platforms should obtain an approval from the trademark owner before a product is allowed to be listed by a third-party seller. This can also discourage the counterfeiters from offering their fake products online. At best, it can reduce the incidence and over time eliminate the problem.