The Indian government has warned Amazon.com’s local unit and Walmart’s Flipkart that sellers on their platforms have to start complying with the rule which mandates them to state the product’s country of origin be specified.
This push for strict enforcement of the rule has come amid tensions between India and China after a border skirmish which has been one since June this year. Now, this is a past of India’s efforts to cut down on Chinese-made imports.
The two e-commerce firms have been also been served a notice of 15 days during which they will have to explain the lapses after which action will be taken against them, as per a letter which has been addressed to the companies from the Ministry of Consumer Affairs and seen by Reuters.
However, it did not specify the details of the action, however, it did mention only to a legal act that has provisions for fines.
“It has been brought into notice that some of the e-commerce entities are not displaying the mandatory declaration on digital platforms required under the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011,” the notice said.
Referring to advertisements made by the entities on their respective websites, the notices also informed that “on examination” of the advertisements “it was found that the mandatory declarations are not mentioned” as per the rules.
The provision of the declaration of ‘country of origin’ has put into place since January 2018 for all manufacturers, importers, packers as well as e-commerce players. The commerce ministry has now been asked to ensure that all the e-commerce players comply with this rule strictly.
This is not the first time both Flipkart and Amazon have got into trouble in India. In January this year, Competition Commission of India ordered an investigation into Amazon and Flipkart over alleged violations of competition law and certain discounting practices. This has been challenged by Amazon according to court filings.