To help customers have knowledge about the origin of products they purchase online, several e-commerce companies including Amazon and Flipkart have been asked to label the 'country of origin' on all products on their platforms by August 1, and for legacy items by October 1.
The Centre's decision comes as a move to tighten grip on Chinese companies and curb cheap imports from any origin. However, e-tailers have asked for more time citing a huge number of items and compliance burden.
The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), in a meeting with industry representatives on July 9, said that it will take some time for all the existing products to reveal the country of origin.
As many as 30 e-commerce sites including Amazon, Flipkart, Jio, Shoppers Stop, Croma, Snapdeal, Lenskart, Paytm, Grofers, Tata Cliq, Pharmeasy, 1MG, HomeShop 18, Swiggy, Zomato, and Medikabazaar attended the virtual meeting.
The companies raised concerns over the feasibility of the move and lack of clarity in the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodity) Rules.
As of now, there is no legal obligation to identify the country of origin on non-packaged goods.
The DPIIT will hold meeting with the consumer affairs ministry over the introduction of the relevant legal provisions on listing such information, The Economic Times reported.
Amazon and Flipkart have requested a timeline of three months to execute the proposal.
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