Starting 2018, e-commerce players will be bound to mention online expiry dates and maximum retail price of packaged goods under Packaged Commodities rules. The rule is focused to protect consumer from expiry products.
According to the Economic Times report, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs has amended the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011 to bring e-commerce companies and online marketplaces under its purview.
With this e-commerce players will also have to display the country of origin on their product pages. The rule covers e-commerce marketplaces as well as inventory driven businesses such as Grofers and Bigbasket.
“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,” states the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Amendment Rules, 2017.
The government decision to bring online seller under purview of Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Amendment Rules, 2017 comes at a time when many citizen forums had highlighted that online platforms are selling products near to their expiry or best-before dates.
While marketplaces essentially don’t keep inventory, the onus of mentioning expiry date and origin of manufacturing lie on seller. As per report, Grofers plans to display expiry dates for batches of products soon. The rules will come into effect from January 1, 2018.
“Typically, a product will ship to a customer only if it is within a reasonable window of usage,” said Grofers’s co-founder Albinder Dhindsa. “In case a customer complains about the expiry date within 48 hours of delivery, we offer a replacement. Expiry related complaints are fewer than two in 1,000 (products) for us.”