Following the mandate by Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) to e-commerce companies to display country of origin for all product listings, Amazon has directed its sellers to provide the same by August 10. In an email sent to its sellers, Amazon said that “starting from July 21, 2020, we are introducing country of origin as a mandatory attribute” for all existing and new listings. The e-commerce firm asked sellers to update information “at all times, as you will be solely responsible to ensure accuracy.” The email copy was reviewed by Financial Express Online.
Amazon, however, also cautioned sellers about “suppression of listings” if they fail to update the information within the stipulated time. To reinstate the blocked listings, sellers would have to provide the information on the seller central home page. The move comes around a week after the DPIIT sought August 1 as the deadline for e-commerce companies to enable country of origin information for new listings and September-end for old listings. However, the timelines are still tentative and “these deadlines may change either side,” DPIIT Joint Secretary Ravinder had told Financial Express Online.
Amazon denied commenting on the mandatory move.
The need for displaying country of origin came following the government’s direction to sellers on its public procurement portal Government e-Marketplace (GeM) to mention the same for products listed. The move not just echoed PM Modi’s call for ‘Vocal for Local’ and Make in India goods but also had the growing anti-China sentiments to boycott import and use of Chinese goods in the background after the deadly border clash between the armed forces of India and China on June 15.
Meanwhile, amid discussions with DPIIT over the issue, multiple e-commerce companies have already started to display country of origin. Myntra and Snapdeal were among the first few to begin displaying the information for products listed. While Myntra has been displaying country of origin under ‘View Supplier Information’ on the product page, many listings on Snapdeal are also showing the details wherever provided by sellers. Flipkart has started to display it for many products under product specifications/details section on the product page. Similarly, Pepperfry stated ‘manufacturer country’ details under merchant info section on the product page while BigBasket provided the country of origin details for some non-food products. It also provided a ‘country of origin’ filter for certain categories.