Ecommerce major Amazon has been fined INR 25K for not displaying mandatory information, including the country of origin, of products sold on its platform.
Last month, the consumer affairs ministry had issued notices to ecommerce majors Flipkart and Amazon for not displaying such information.
The ministry had also asked states to ensure that all ecommerce firms comply with the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules.
The penalty has been imposed on Amazon as its reply to the notice was not found satisfactory, as per the order issued by the ministry dated November 19.
As per law, Amazon has been fined INR 25K per director for the first offence, a senior official of the ministry said. Flipkart has not been fined, the official added.
In the notice issued last month, the consumer affairs ministry had said, “It has been brought into notice that some of the ecommerce entities are not displaying the mandatory declaration on digital platforms required under the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011.”
In similarly worded notices, the ministry had said Flipkart India Pvt Ltd and Amazon Development Centre India Pvt Ltd have to ensure that all mandatory declarations are displayed on the digital and electronic network used for e-commerce transactions.
In October 2020 the Ministry of Corporate Affairs had asked why Flipkart and Amazon haven’t followed rules under Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011.
The letter addressed to Flipkart India Pvt. Ltd. and Amazon Development Center India Pvt.Ltd. by MCA, had specific links to the inventory, which lacked the details, as required under the Legal Metrology.
Over the past months, ecommerce and food delivery firms have had several meetings with the consumer affairs department as well as officials from the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), regarding the addition of ‘country of origin’ tag to online product listings.
The DPIIT had said that the government had directed ecommerce firms to comply with this requirement by September 30.
Initially, the government was keen on a 1 August deadline, but the move was opposed by retailers. Ecommerce firms such as Flipkart wrote to the government that they will need at least six months to finish the process.
In July, the Delhi high court had issued notices to Amazon and Flipkart on a plea seeking to display the names of the manufacturing countries for products on their websites.