To promote and enforce the rights of consumers, the newly enacted Consumer Protection Act mandates online marketplaces to display ‘Country of Origin’ of products hosted on their portals to help consumers choose the right product. The ‘Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) rules’, will be applicable to all electronic retailers (e-tailers) registered in India or abroad but offering goods and services to Indian consumers. The new norm aims to protect the rights of the consumers by establishing authorities for effective administration and settlement of consumers' disputes.
Rules adopted under the Consumer Protection Act 2019, which affect aggregators such as Amazon, Flipkart, or other inventory-led models where retailers own and sell inventories are now mandated by legislation to disclose the country in which a product is manufactured or assembled. The e-marketplace, which is encompassing the market at a much faster rate, is a special purpose vehicle that facilitates the entry of small local sellers in public procurement while implementing the Make in India and MSME Purchase Preference Policies of the Centre. This law extends to all e-commerce operators, whether registered in India or abroad, who sell goods and services to Indian consumers. The government is also likely to review the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodity) Rules that govern pre-packaged commodities and cover declarations about the Country of Origin, date of manufacture, quantity, expiry date, and manufacturer’s details among other information about the product. - Economic Times
However, this is not an easy thing for online marketplaces to host this information for a large number of products listed with them. This requires collating information through extensive coordination with brand owners. Smaller retailers are badly hit with this Act as it hindered their plans of moving to online to keep the business going. To do so, most of the small retailers rely on third-party, crowdsourced information that does not provide information on the Country of Origin of products.
To solve the problem in an efficient manner, DataKart, the national product data repository of the country, hosts ‘Country of Origin’ information on over 14 million products. This will help online marketplaces comply with the act swiftly. Once implemented, this will act as a crucial step in promoting the manufacturing of local products, and in turn, supporting the government’s initiatives of ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’ and ‘Make in India’. It will further enable consumers to make informed choices and buying decisions.
With DataKart, manufacturers can map the country of origin with each product which further helps them comply with the regulation faster and also get the ease of updating information and sharing with marketplaces and e-commerce companies quickly ensure that their product listings are not impacted due to non-compliance.
E-commerce giants like Amazon.com’s local unit and Walmart’s Flipkart have begun to update their back-end systems to allow sellers to identify the Country of Origin on all new product listings on their platforms. - Reuters
Moreover, the information on the products ‘Country of Origin’ will further motivate young entrepreneurs to promote and sell hand-made products and stand tall with their competitors in the online as well as offline marketplaces.
As of today, over 10,000 brand owners are updating information on their products on DataKart on a regular basis. The repository also hosts information on over 30 product attributes for each product, including images, HSN codes, dimensions, product descriptions, etc., which can be easily shared with various stakeholders from one centralized location anytime anywhere.
This information is populated directly by brand owners and shared in real-time with retailers and e-tailers to enhance the quality of their item masters. Retailers and online marketplaces using DataKart have also observed benefits of reduced time and enhanced efficiency in managing master data updates and listing new product introductions.