New Delhi, January 1, 2018

The Centre has made it mandatory from Monday for e-commerce firms to print maximum retail price (MRP) on goods.

The firms must also print information like expiry date and customer care details.

The Ministry of Consumer Affairs had made the amendments in this regard to the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011, in June.

The companies were given a six-month deadline to comply with the new rule.

"Amendment made in the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011, to safeguard the interest of consumers and ease of doing business will come into force with effect from January 1, 2018," the ministry stated.

As per the amendments, goods displayed by the seller on e-commerce platform should contain declarations required under the rules.

Along with MRP, the companies have to display the manufacturing date, expiry date, net quantity, country of origin and customer care details on the label.

"Size of letters and numerals for making declaration is increased so that consumer can easily read the same," the ministry said.

Specific mention is made in the rules that no person should declare different MRPs (dual MRP) on an identical pre-packaged commodity.

Besides, the government has made the net quantity checking more scientific, while Bar Code/QR Coding has been allowed on a voluntary basis.

Medical devices, which are declared as drugs, are brought into the purview of declarations to be made under the rules.

At present, only MRP is printed on the goods sold online.

The changes come in the backdrop of e-marketplaces posing new and complex consumer protection issues with the ministry receiving several complaints as regards to information deficit on online products/goods.

Flipkart, Amazon India, Snapdeal, Grofers and Bigbasket are some of the leading e-marketplaces entities operating in the country.

[The Deccan Herald]