Notice to Amazon, Flipkart, others: Delhi HC seeks e-commerce firms’ stand on displaying country of origin

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Updated: Jul 01, 2020 12:47 PM

The Delhi High Court has sought responses from the e-commerce companies including Amazon, Flipkart and others on giving consumers information about the country where the product has been made.

The notice was issued by the bench comprising Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan to the e-commerce companies and the centre seeking their response by July 22.

The Delhi High Court has issued notice to e-commerce portals including Amazon and Flipkart in a plea seeking display of ‘country of origin’ of products sold on their marketplaces. The high court has sought responses from the e-commerce companies on giving consumers information about the country where the product has been made. Moreover, the court has also asked the Centre to reply on the government’s policy on display of ‘country of origin’.

The notice was issued by the bench comprising Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan to the e-commerce companies and the centre seeking their response by July 22. The petition was filed by a lawyer, according to PTI, seeking e-commerce companies to comply with the Legal Metrology Act 2009 that mandated country of origin mention for products retailed online. According to the petition, the rule to display the country of origin was not enforced with respect to e-commerce marketplaces.

Comments from Amazon and Flipkart are awaited while Snapdeal declined to comment.

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The notice was issued around a week after the Department for Promotion of Industry & Internal Trade (DPIIT) had met online marketplaces including Grofers, BigBasket, Pepperfry and others with respect to mentioning country of origin details for every product sold online. During the meeting, the marketplaces had agreed to display the information, multiple sources present in the meeting had told Financial Express Online. However, it was first in a series of meetings that the government will hold ahead on the subject.

“There was the industry-government alignment on giving the country of origin as the information to customers. There was an agreement with participants that they want to do this. Since the notice for this came in yesterday only, companies said they would discuss this with their tech teams and get back on the modalities,” another source told Financial Express Online. Walmart-owned Myntra has already been displaying the Country of Origin details under ‘View Supplier Information’ on the product page on its portal while many listings on Snapdeal also showed the details wherever sellers have provided the information.

Discussing display of country of origin with e-commerce marketplaces came a day after the Finance Ministry had asked sellers on public procurement portal Government e-Marketplace (GeM) to mention the products’ origin. The developments to promote made in India goods came amid growing chorus among consumers to boycott import and use of Chinese goods following the border clash between the Indian and Chinese armed forces. The Indian government had also recently banned 59 Chinese apps including TikTok, WeChat, Helo etc. to ensure there is no threat by these apps to India’s “sovereignty and security,” it said in a press release on Monday.

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