Consumer affairs ministry writes to Amazon, Flipkart on ‘country of origin’2 min read . Updated: 16 Oct 2020, 10:57 PM IST
- MoCA has asked both e-commerce firms to furnish details about the seller regarding nature and ownership of the firm, necessary incorporation documents
- The ministry has given the respective e-commerce firms 15 days to provide these details, along with an explanation
The Ministry of Consumer Affairs (MoCA) has written to e-commerce majors Flipkart and Amazon, on Friday, for not displaying the mandatory declarations, including ‘country of origin’ which digital platforms ought to follow as prescribed under the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011.
The letter was addressed to Flipkart India Pvt. Ltd. and Amazon Development Center India Pvt.Ltd. by MoCA, had specific links to the inventory, which lacked the details, as required under the Legal Metrology.
“... In case of marketplace model of e-commerce, responsibility of the correctness of the declarations lie with the manufacturer or seller or dealer or importer," the letter read. Mint has seen a copy of the letter, sent both to Amazon and Flipkart.
Now, MoCA has asked both e-commerce firms to furnish details about the seller regarding nature and ownership of the firm, necessary incorporation documents, as well as names and residential addresses of persons responsible for the conduct including the respective police jurisdiction under which they reside.
The ministry has given the respective e-commerce firms 15 days to provide these details, along with an explanation. On failing to do so, an action will be initiated against Amazon and Flipkart.
Amazon and Flipkart couldn’t be reached immediately for a comment on the story.
Over the past month, e-commerce and food delivery firms have had several meetings with the consumer affairs department as well as officials from the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), regarding the addition of ‘country of origin’ tag to online product listings.
Country of origin refers to the country where the item is produced, irrespective of the point of shipping. Recently, a DPIIT official told Mint that the union ministry had directed e-commerce firms to comply with this requirement by September 30.
Initially, the government was keen on a 1 August deadline, but the move was opposed by retailers. E-commerce firms such as Flipkart wrote to the government that they will need at least six months to finish the process, according to two e-commerce executives aware of the discussions.
Over the past quarter, e-commerce executives have debated with government officials stating that while the directive around adding the ‘country of origin’ tag is being followed for new listings, they will need more time to complete the process for legacy listings, which runs in hundreds of million for large e-commerce platforms.
Some e-commerce platforms have also been displaying names of two to three countries as “country of origin" to factor in components sourced from different countries."