In compliance with the government’s demand, sellers on homegrown ecommerce giant Flipkart have started adding the product origin tag on their product listings. Sportswear brand Nike is one such seller that is hosting the details of the manufacturer, importer and packer on all its listings.
The product of origin on Flipkart is currently only visible on the app and not the website, Inc42 has confirmed. Further, a quick search of products on Amazon and Snapdeal app and website did not show similar product details. The development was first reported by Economic Times.
Flipkart’s product origin listing comes at a time when the government is still contemplating the final deadline by which sellers need to add all product origin related details on their listing.
For now, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) set the deadline on August 1 for all products listed by sellers. For legacy items, the deadline has been set for October 1, 2020, but both these deadlines may change due to ecommerce companies suggestions.
The ecommerce platform has sought more time to implement these changes to their website suggesting that these measures should be introduced in a phased manner with the involvement of manufacturers and sellers in the process. The companies believe that a hastened move would harm the small sellers and MSMEs who may not be aware of the rules, or how to comply with them.
The Nike listing shows that Flipkart has allowed the sellers to include their product’s origin details, yet several others have not complied with it. To ensure that all sellers are complying to the guidelines, the ministry of consumer affairs has decided to levy a fine upto INR 1 Lakh and a subsequent jail term for all manufacturers, ecommerce firms and marketing agencies of imported packaged items in case they fail to highlight the country of origin of their products.
Leena Nandan, secretary of consumer affairs, informed that for the first offence would attract a penalty up to INR 25K, for the second it will be extended to INR 50K. Any subsequent offence can attract INR 1 Lakh penalty and a jail term of one year. The penalties would be applicable for sellers who fail to display product origin after the deadline.
The consumer affairs ministry has also set up the central consumer protection authority (CCPA) to undertake such cases suo motu or on the direction from the central government.