MRP(Maximum Retail Price)
To protect online consumers, the Center has made it mandatory for e-commerce firms to print information like not only the Maximum Retail Price (MRP) and country of origin on goods but also the expiry date and customer care details from today.
The Consumer Affairs Ministry had amended the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules in June 2017 in this regard. Companies were given a time frame of six months to comply with the new rule. “In order to protect the interests of consumers and ease of doing business, the amendments made to the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011 will come into force from January 1, 2018,” the ministry said in a statement.
As per the amendments, the goods displayed on the e-commerce platform by the seller should contain the required declarations under the rules. With MRP, companies have to display the manufacturing date, expiry date, net quantity, country of origin, and consumer care details on the label. “The size of the letters and numbers for making the announcement has been increased so that the consumers can read it easily,” the ministry said. “It is specifically mentioned in the rules that no person shall declare different MRP (dual MRP) on the same pre-packaged commodity,” it said.
In addition, the government has made the net quantity testing more scientific, while bar code/QR coding has been voluntarily allowed. “Medical devices, which are declared as drugs, are brought under the purview of declarations to be made under the rules,” the ministry statement said.
At present, only MRP is printed on goods sold online.
These changes come in the backdrop of e-marketplace posing new and complex consumer protection issues, the ministry has received several complaints regarding lack of information on products/items online. Flipkart, Amazon India, Snapdeal, Grofers, and Bigbasket are some of the major e-marketplace entities operating in the country.
‘Country of Origin’ Tag Mandatory
Under the new draft Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020, e-commerce companies will have to display the break-up of duty on their goods and the total price along with the ‘country of origin. A nodal officer will be appointed for compliance.
The government has notified new rules and regulations for e-commerce companies under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019, making it mandatory to display ‘country of origin’ on their products, stating that any non-compliance with the Act will attract punitive action under
The ‘Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020’, notified on July 23, is part of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019. It was to be implemented in the country from July 20, but now it will be implemented from July 27. Consumer and Food Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan will hold a press conference on this on July 27.
The Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food, and Public Distribution notified the Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020, which cover all goods sold online through the marketplace or inventory-based model. The new norms aim to protect the rights of the consumer by establishing authority for timely and effective administration and settlement of consumer disputes.
The ‘Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020’ will be applicable to all electronic retailers (e-tailers) who are registered in India or abroad, but provide goods and services to Indian consumers. The new rules empower the central government to take action against unfair trade practices in e-commerce, direct selling. They require e-tailers to facilitate easy returns, address customer complaints, and prevent discrimination against merchants on their platforms.
The new rules state that marketplaces, as well as sellers, will need grievance officers, who will have to respond in a time-bound manner.
As per the new rules, e-commerce companies will have to show the total cost of goods and services offered for sale along with details of other charges. They are also required to mention the ‘expiry date’ of the goods offered for sale and the ‘country of origin’ (1) of the goods and services which are required to enable the consumer to make an informed decision at the pre-purchase stage.
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