Facing pressure from the government to comply with the rules to disclose the country of origin on products listed on their platforms, ecommerce companies have started working with sellers to ensure these details are updated.
Ecommerce companies are already mandated to display the country of origin for products listed on the platform, as per the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Amendment Rules, 2017.
The rules mandate that the name of the country of origin or manufacture or assembly in case of imported products be mentioned on the package, and that ecommerce entities have to ensure mandatory declarations on their platforms. These rules came into effect from January 2018, and cites penalties for non-compliance.
Consumer affairs minister Ram Vilas Paswan on Thursday said ecommerce companies must comply with the legal metrology rules, and has asked state governments to enforce the rules and act against violators.
This comes even as the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has been conducting discussions with ecommerce companies on displaying the origin of products. CNBC-TV18 reported on July 8 that the DPIIT has proposed a deadline of August 1 for the origin of products to be displayed on new product listings on e-commerce platforms.
Ecommerce companies have been working with sellers to ensure the details are displayed on their platforms.
A Paytm Mall spokesperson said, "We have created a new template to list products clearly identifying the country where it has been manufactured. The template has been shared with all our sellers and we have started listing new product SKUs according to the new format. Other than the country of origin it clearly states the address of the manufacturer and the name and address of the importer."
Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal did not respond to queries. These platforms have the details of the country of origin for several listings but not for all the products on their platforms.
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The industry has raised concerns about the large number of listings running into millions that will need to be updated by sellers, hence increasing the compliance burden.
"The challenge is around getting sellers to quickly update this data for millions of product SKUs already on the website. It is an ongoing and time-consuming exercise. However, in the spirit of fully supporting the government's decision to promote Make in India and Atmanirbhar Bharat we have wholeheartedly started the process," the Paytm spokesperson said.
Seller associations, however, say they will comply with the rules. "Genuine sellers have no issues in complying with the norms. There is loose compliance currently as platforms have not made the fields compulsory while listing," a spokesperson of the All India Online Vendors Association (AIOVA) said.
"All sellers can update the legal metrology rules within 48 hours,” the spokesperson added.