New Rules For E-Commerce Notified; ‘Country Of Origin’ Mandatory

  • The 'Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020', was notified by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distributions on July 23, is part of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019.
  • The 'Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020' will be applicable to all electronic retailers (e-tailers), registered in India or abroadbut offering goods and services to Indian consumers.

Major Provisions

  • The e-commerce players will have to display the total price of goodsand services offered for sale along with the break-up of other charges.
  • They are also required to mention the 'expiry date' of goods offered for sale and the 'country of origin' of goods and services.
  • Marketplaces, as well as sellers, would be required to have grievance officers who have to respond in a time-bound manner.
  • E-commerce players must display details about return, refund, exchange, warranty and guarantee, delivery and shipment, modes of payment, and grievance redressal mechanism, and any other similar information that may be required by consumers to make informed decisions.
  • False Reviews: e-commerce entities can’t 'falsely represent themselves as a consumer and post reviews about goods and services or misrepresent the quality or the features of any goods and services'.
  • Advertisement and Promotion: e-commerce entities have to ensure that the advertisements for the marketing of goods and services are consistent with the actual characteristics, access and usage conditions of such goods or services.

How it will help Consumers and Govt.

  • The new norms aim to protect the rights of consumer by establishing authorities for timely and effective administration and settlement of consumers' disputes.
  • They require e-tailers to facilitate easy returns, address customer grievances and prevent discriminating against merchants on their platforms.
  • The new rules empower the central government to act against unfair trade practices in e-commerce, direct selling.

Source : Civil Services Chronicle Online, July, 2020