If you are an online shopper habituated to buying from online marketplaces and have been short-changed by the seller at any point of time, here is some good news for you. On June 23, 2017, the Government of India notified an amendment to the Legal Metrology (Packages Commodities) 2011 which will bring e-commerce companies and online marketplaces under its purview. According to this notification, all e-commerce companies will have to publish the expiry dates and maximum retail prices of all packages products sold online with effect from January 1, 2016.
As per the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Amendment Rules, 2017, “An e-commerce entity shall ensure that the mandatory declarations as specified, except the month and year in which the commodity is manufactured or packed, shall be displayed on the digital and electronic network used for ecommerce transactions.”
Accordingly, under the new regulations, sellers displaying goods on their e-commerce platform will have to make all necessary declarations such as name and address of the manufacturer, packer and importer, name of the commodity, net content, retail sale price, consumer care complaint, dimension, etc. Also, companies will be required to disclose the country of origin of the products’ being sold online on their product pages. That apart, the government has increased the font size of letters and numerals in the declaration to improve the readability of specifications of the products.
The new rule also states the "responsibility of the correctness of declarations lie with the manufacturer or seller or dealer or importer." Hence, irrespective of the location of the inventory, the sellers will be held responsible and accountable for any mis-selling or fraud.
The new regulations are aimed at ensuring e-commerce companies do not indulge in short-changing their customers by selling products that are close to expiry dates or past their expiry dates or by despatching products that do not meet all the specifications given on the website.