Govt serves 202 notices to online sellers for country of origin norm violation
The central government on Tuesday said that it has issued as many as 217 notices to e-commerce companies in the last one year for not following proper norms while selling goods online. These notices have been sent for violations like incorrect declaration of country of origin, wrong mention of date of expiry, charging more than MRP and others.
The consumer affairs ministry said that the maximum number of notices – 202 – were related to incorrect declaration of country of origin on products.
A majority of such violations were found with respect to electronic appliances (47), followed by apparel (35) and home products, it added.
The ministry did not disclose the names of the companies to whom these notices have been sent. “We are trying to do this exercise to alert both companies as well as consumers,” consumer affairs secretary Leena Nandan said during an interaction woth the media yesterday.
The ministry also shared a brief presentation which gave details about the violations.
The central consumer protection authority (CCPA), which also comes under consumer affairs ministry, said in the same interaction that in run-up to the festive season, it has taken strong action on violations of consumer rights.
The total amount collected by the compounding of the offences is ₹41,85,500. Significantly, the CCPA has issued advisory to all marketplace e-commerce platforms.
The CCPA has sent a notice to e-commerce entities for violations reported on their platforms. It directed such entities to furnish detailed reply as to what are the tangible steps that have been taken by them on this matter.
The CCPA said that some marketplace e-commerce entities are not complying with Rule 5(3)(e) of the E-Commerce Rules, 2020, which mandates every marketplace e-commerce entity to prominently display to its users, in a clear and accessible manner at an appropriate place on its platform all information provided to it by sellers under sub-rule (5) of rule 6 including the name, contact numbers and designation of the grievance officer for consumer grievance redressal or for reporting any other matter.
“Due to lack of required information, a consumer is ill-informed about the product or service,” it said in the notice.
During its review, the CCPA said that it found e-commerce entities are giving run-of-the-mill reply to consumers stating that they are only intermediaries and are not liable for any grievance with regard to the product and it is the seller who is responsible for any liability arising out of the purchase made on its platform.
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