India publishes new e-commerce platform rules to protect consumers


Saman Javed

India publishes new e-commerce platform rules to protect consumers

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India’s government has released a draft of a new set of rules for e-commerce platforms in a bid to stop the sale of counterfeits and fake reviews. 

The ‘Consumer Protection E-Commerce Rules 2019’, published on November 11, aim to force e-commerce platforms to be more transparent and hold greater accountability for goods sold on their websites.

Alongside the anticounterfeiting measures, the rules aim to reduce lengthy delivery times and streamline the returns process.

The e-commerce platform should not "directly or indirectly influence the price of the goods or services" and "maintain a level-playing field", the rules said.

The government said online platforms should not adopt “any unfair methods or deceptive practices that may influence transactional decisions of consumers in relation to products and services".

This means that platforms must monitor and prohibit fake reviews or product descriptions which “exaggerate the quality of goods”.

The e-commerce platforms will also be required to display information about sellers, including their business name, legal name, principal geographic address, website name, the products they sell, and how they can be contacted by customers.

Also under the new rules, platforms and sellers will be obliged to accept returns where goods were delivered late, or if the product is defective.

The new rules also outline greater liabilities for sellers. Individuals who are selling or advertising products through an e-commerce platform must display the total, and breakdown of prices for the goods, including delivery, postage and tax charges.

Sellers must also provide mandatory safety and health care warnings and shelf life information. Additionally, sellers will also be responsible for the guarantee of the quality of goods sold.

India, counterfeits, e-commerce, Consumer Protection E-commerce Rules 2019, copyright, trademark, fake reviews, trade

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