The government has asked e-commerce companies to appoint a nodal officer to ensure compliance with the new rules on consumer protection. The rules are applicable to e-commerce entities registered in India, as well as those registered abroad but offering goods and services to Indian consumers.
This new sub-rule, which has been included in the Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020, has come into effect from May 17, according to a notification issued by the consumer affairs ministry. These rules were made under the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019. “…it (e-commerce entity) shall appoint a nodal officer or an alternate senior designated functionary who is resident in India, to ensure compliance with the provisions of the Act or the rules made thereunder,” the notification said.
The rules apply to all e-commerce entities incorporated under the Companies Act, 1956 or under the Companies Act, 2013 or a foreign company covered under clause (42) of section 2 of the Companies Act, 2013 or an office, branch or agency outside India owned or controlled by a person resident in India as provided in the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999, it added.
The new rules for e-commerce entities were first notified in July 2020. Their violations attract penal action under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019.