The government has asked e-commerce websites to display the country of origin for products listed on its website. The new rules will be applicable for platforms registered outside India as well.
The new draft rules under the Consumer Protection Act 2019 (CPA) are likely to be notified to e-commerce platforms later this week. Mentioning the country of origin will help consumers make an informed decision before making the purchase, Consumer Affairs Secretary Leela Nandan said.
The amendments in the new CPA also include provisions like penalties for misleading advertisements, class action suits, a dispute resolution mechanism, a central consumer protection authority and the ability to file complaints.
E-commerce companies will also be required to set up a grievance redressal mechanism on their website, and the complaints need to disposed of within a month.
Furthermore, sellers on e-commerce websites will have to appoint their own grievance redressal officer, who will acknowledge a consumer complaint within 48 hours. They will also be required to disclose the contractual obligation with the platform, the price and the shipping charges.
The move is aimed at promoting Make in India and Aatmanirbhar Bharat plans but it is likely to have a bearing on products of Chinese origin. The government has already mandated its own online marketplace, GeM, to enter the country of origin while registering new products.
The government has also mandated sellers with existing listed products to update the country of origin, failing which the products would be removed.