Ecommerce companies will now have to display details such as MRP and use-by date on the website, said BN Dixit, who heads legal metrology at the consumer affairs department. The practice of fake discounting often alleged against many ecommerce companies may stop after the rules to display MRP and expiry details of packaged products on their platforms came into effect from January 1.
Ecommerce entities may face financial penalties and even jail term if they do not comply with new rules that require them to mandatorily display the maximum retail price (MRP) among other details on pre-packaged commodities. The Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) (Amendment) Rules, 2017, seeks to regulate pre-packaged commodities, making declarations about MRP, expiry date, manufacturer's details
mandatory in addition to other information about the product. Ecommerce entities have also been brought under the purview of the new rules among rising consumer complaints against them.
According to the Act, ecommerce firms which do not conform to the declarations mandatory for prepackaged commodities will be fined Rs 25,000 for the first offence, Rs 50,000 for the second, and Rs 1 lakh for the third, which may also be coupled with a jail term of up to one year, the official said.
Among other details, sellers on ecommerce platforms will need to display the original MRP of the product even if they are selling it at a discounted price.
"We have taken multiple steps to inform the sellers on the changes in the legal metrology regulations. We are working with our sellers to enable them to comply with the changes in legal metrology regulations," an Amazon spokesperson said.
Snapdeal alerted its sellers last week that they may not be allowed to use warehouses of logistics partners if they do not comply with the new guidelines. Flipkart also is educating and training its sellers on the new amendment.