E-tailers backs govt move for displaying country of origin for products sold

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Published: June 25, 2020 3:15 AM

The meeting was attended by nearly 15 e-commerce firms, including Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal, Pepperfry and Grofers.

“The task for the seller with respect to existing listings will be daunting,” the source added.“The task for the seller with respect to existing listings will be daunting,” the source added.

In a meeting held between officials of the department for promotion of industry and internal trade (DPIIT) and e-commerce companies on Wednesday to discuss displaying the country of origin for products sold on their platforms, the industry has supported the move, a source told FE.

The meeting was attended by nearly 15 e-commerce firms, including Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal, Pepperfry and Grofers.

“There was no note of discord. This was the first meeting to understand the industry’s point of view on the matter. Another meeting will be held in ten days or so where the modalities of the process will be discussed,” the source said.

While for the e-commerce platforms, the exercise will entail “one-time tech enablement”, the sellers will have to manually add the details of the origin of all the products to the listings, the source said. “The task for the seller with respect to existing listings will be daunting,” the source added.

There is a provision in metrology act which mandates manufacturers to specify country of origin on imported products, said Sonam Chandwani, managing partner at KS Legal and Associates.

The development comes amid local traders’ repeated requests to the authorities, mandating e-commerce players to state the country of origin for products sold on their portals.

The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) in a recent letter to commerce minister Piyush Goyal said, “All e-commerce companies are selling Chinese goods in large percentages on their portals and in absence of country of origin provision, the customers are unaware about it which certainly influences the choice of the consumers.”

Calls to boycott Chinese goods have been gaining traction across the country after a violent face-off between Indian and Chinese soldiers in Ladakh’s Galwan Valley left earlier in the month left at least 20 Indian military personnel dead.

On Tuesday, the government e-Marketplace (GeM), a special purpose vehicle under the ministry of commerce and industry made it mandatory for sellers to enter the country of origin while registering all new products on GeM.

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