NEW DELHI: E-commerce firms, manufacturers and marketing agencies of imported packaged items face fines of up to Rs 1 lakh and one year jail, if they don’t display the “country of origin” of such products.
In its bid to rein in such violators and those falling foul of other provisions of the Consumer Protection Act such as unfair trade practices, the consumer affairs ministry has set up the central consumer protection authority (CCPA), which can take up these cases suo motu or on a direction from the central government.
The ministry has designated its additional secretary as the chief commissioner and BIS director general as the investigating officer.
Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan said they have written to all e-commerce companies and state governments to strictly implement the mandatory mentioning of “country on origin” on the products under Packaged Commodities Rules.
“If a manufacturer or marketing firm fails to comply with this, it will be fined with Rs 25,000 for first offence, Rs 50,000 for second and Rs 1 lakh for subsequent offence or one year jail or both where the items are sold through shops. This will be applicable for e-commerce firms, if they don’t display the details on their website,” said consumer affairs secretary Leena Nandan.
Officials said the provision of declaration of “country of origin” has been in place since January 2018 for all manufacturers, importers, packers and e-commerce players.
The secretary said the issue was discussed with e-commerce players at a meeting called by DPIIT under commerce ministry. “We are on the same page on its implementation. If e-commerce firms display the details as maintained in the law, consumers can make an informed decision,” she said.