The Consumer Affairs Ministry has imposed a penalty of Rs. 75,000 on e-commerce giant Amazon India. The reason behind imposing the fine is for not showing the ‘Country of Origin’ to a number of products on its product page. The fines are provisioned by the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules which came into effect in the year 2018.
The progress comes after a month of issuing notice by the ministry to e-commerce giants including Amazon and Flipkart for their negligence in following the regulations.
The legal metrology department gave an official information to the e-commerce giant and said that the matter can be settled out of court if the company agrees to pay the fine within seven days. “If you are willing to close the matter departmentally, you can compound the case as per section 48(1) of the Act on payment for credit to the government an amount of Rs. 25,000 each on behalf of each director plus Rs. 25,000 on behalf of the company,” the legal metrology department wrote last week to Amazon Seller Services.
As per the department, failure in doing so will invite legal affairs with the agency warning that it will be ‘constrained to initiate’ prosecution against Amazon and all the directors without further notice. As per the sources quoted by Times of India claimed that the department has found two directors guilty for the violation but it is not clear on how it made that judgement.
The Legal Metrology Department had announced earlier that Amazon had itself admitted that some of the sellers on its platform were not displaying ‘Country of Origin’ information despite standing instructions in this regard hence the fine itself is not a surprise.
Though the fine is less but the department tried to pre-empt any questions by saying that the issue is not only about the penalty amount alone but also about passing the message to other e-commerce firms that they need to follow the regulations strictly.