DPIIT may discuss 'country of origin' tag for e-sale with Consumer Ministry

The department has held two meetings with e-commerce companies to understand their issues and how much time they would take to implement 'country of origin' label on packages sold through their platform.

The industry department is likely to discuss with the Consumer Affairs Ministry the matter of mandating e-commerce firms to mention the 'country of origin' on each product sold through their platforms, sources said.

The issue was discussed in a meeting on Wednesday called by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) and representatives of e-commerce companies, including Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal, Tata Cliq and Grofers.

The sources said the matter involves certain changes related to packaging of the product "the DPIIT would discuss the issue with the consumer affairs ministry".

The department has held two meetings with e-commerce companies to understand their issues and how much time they would take to implement 'country of origin' label on packages sold through their platform.

During the meeting on Wednesday, companies flagged certain issues such as single product manufactured in more than one country; imported goods, and unbranded and unpackaged items.

One of the sources said that the participants have stated that they have no problem in indicating the country of origin of the product or where it was made but highlighted some problems related to implementation need to be resolved.

They have also suggested the department to deliberate the matter with brand owners, sellers and manufacturers.

According to industry sources, the department has suggested a deadline of August 1 to e-commerce companies to start the exercise for new products, and October 1 for old stock.

They added that some work has already begun on the labeling front.

The issue was first discussed in detail on June 24 between officials of the department and representatives of e-commerce companies.

The development comes against the backdrop of calls to boycott Chinese goods following months long border standoff between India and China in Ladakh.

The government procurement portal GeM has made it mandatory for suppliers/sellers to specify the country of origin while registering new products on the portal.

Mentioning the country of origin would help buyers take an informed decision while purchasing the item.

Domestic traders' body CAIT has demanded making it mandatory for e-commerce firms to mention the 'country of origin' on each product sold on their platforms.



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