Amazon, Snapdeal shrug off ‘country of origin’ disclosure duty; say it’s manufacturer or seller’s job

By: |
September 3, 2020 11:47 AM

While e-commerce platforms were directed to ensure displaying ‘country of origin’ tag on products sold online, Amazon and Snapdeal have shrugged off the responsibility and have put the onus on manufacturers and sellers.

Two of the biggest e-commerce companies in India, Jeff Bezos’ Amazon and homegrown Snapdeal, told the Delhi High Court on Wednesday that they are only ‘marketplace-based’ e-commerce platforms.

While e-commerce platforms were directed to ensure displaying ‘country of origin’ tag on products sold online, Amazon and Snapdeal have shrugged off the responsibility and have put the onus on manufacturers and sellers. Two of the biggest e-commerce companies in India, Jeff Bezos’ Amazon and homegrown Snapdeal, told the Delhi High Court on Wednesday that they are only ‘marketplace-based’ e-commerce platforms or intermediaries, The Indian Express reported. Further, the responsibility of such disclosure lies with the manufacturer or seller and not on the listing platform, they said in response to a petition seeking mandatory declaration of the country of origin on products offered for sale on e-commerce websites.

Amid the rising anti-China sentiment and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s emphatic call for supporting domestic businesses and cutting imports, e-commerce platforms were asked to display ‘country of origin’ tag in order to help customers make an informed choice. While Amazon has said that it has made such a declaration mandatory, Snapdeal has informed the court that it has not made the declaration mandatory as it is required only for imported products. The government has set a 30 September deadline for compliance with the order, and to display ‘country of origin’ tag on their platforms. The deadline was extended from 1 August after industry associations sought 6-7 months extension from the government to comply.

Meanwhile, e-commerce companies have gone bullish on promoting Indian goods as the government focuses on Vocal for Local and Make in India. Three of the major e-commerce websites in India viz Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal have their own platforms now to showcase works from Indian craftsmen and list Indian heritage items. These platforms are — Karigar for Amazon, Samarth for Flipkart and Pride of India for Snapdeal. Flipkart also tied up with the Assam government recently to showcase work of Assamese artisans on its Samarth platform.

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