The Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011 was amended by government of India on January 2018, to add a new provision mandating declaration of ‘country of origin’ for manufacturers, importers, packers and e-commerce entities except the month and year in which the commodity is manufactured or packed. Whether a product is sold offline or online needs to be compulsory followed by the rules of Legal Metrology Packaged Commodities Rules 2011.

The submission was made in an affidavit placed before a bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan by the central government which said that according to the Legal Metrology Act and Rules e-commerce sites have to ensure country of origin is displayed on the “digital and electronic network used for e-commerce transactions”.

“The declaration of country of origin on the pre-packaged commodity or on the digital and electronic network used for e-commerce transactions is required in case of an imported product and if the product is manufactured indigenously, country of origin may not be mentioned on the product,” the affidavit said.

Specifying the Country of Origin is an important factor when it comes to product evaluation processes as well as for product purchase decisions. Its importance also depends on the amount of information that the consumers have about the product and the product category.

Consumer Affairs Secretary Leena Nandan said most of the companies are complying with the provision on product labelling sold in offline markets. But e-commerce platforms are not showing it prominently on their websites. If this provision is strictly complied with, consumers can make an informed decision.

Now every E-commerce entity would be required to understand the provisions of the PC Rules applicable to them and get a legal metrology certificate as per Rule 27 of Legal Metrology (Packaged) Commodity Rules, 2011.
Non-compliance of the PC Rules will attract the penal action against violators, under Section 36 of the Legal Metrology Act provides penalty of  up to Rs 1 lakh and also an imprisonment for a term of one year.

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