Department of Consumer Affairs acts on citizen demand

  • • Ecommerce sites asked to display expiry date of packaged food materials
  • • Sellers on ecommerce sites will have to list the correct product MRP
  • • All medical devices to have MRP printed on them
  • • Dual-MRP on identical pre-packaged items will not be allowed

30 June, 2017, New Delhi: The issue of receiving limited shelf life products while ordering from ecommerce sites has reached a solution. According to a poll done by LocalCircles, 98% citizens had said that they wanted ecommerce sites to disclose the actual best before date of limited shelf life products, so that they can make an educated decision of buying or not buying the product. The Department of Consumer Affairs has finally addressed the consumer concern and released a notification about the same, through an amendment to the existing Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011.

Department of Consumer Affairs, under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution has released the notification mandating the ecommerce site to display the expiry or best before date of packaged food materials on their websites. The notification stated “if a package contains a commodity which may become unfit for human consumption after a period of time, the best before or use by date, month and year should also be mentioned on the label.”

Point number 10 of the notification also said “an ecommerce entity shall ensure that the mandatory declaration as specified in sub-rule (1), except the month and year in which the commodity is manufactured or packed, shall be displayed on the digital and electronic network used for ecommerce transactions.”.

The amendment also makes it compulsory for the sellers to list the actual MRP of products on ecommerce platforms.

Another important announcement in the notification is that all medical devices declared as drugs should mandatorily have an MRP printed on them.

Addressing the issue of dual MRP, the notification, which is a big win for the consumers, also said that “no manufacturer or packer or importer shall declare different maximum retail prices on an identical pre-packaged commodity by adopting restrictive trade practices or unfair trade practices.”

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