BENGALURU: Amazon India has now made it mandatory to add ‘country of origin’ for new and existing product listings by Indian sellers from next week. It has set up a deadline of August 10 saying sellers should start reflecting the ‘country of origin’ tag by then.
“Starting July 21, 2020, we are introducing “country_of_origin” as a mandatory attribute in addition to a few optional attributes in our category listing templates in accordance with the Legal Metrology Act of 2009. You will be required to provide information for “country of origin” mandatorily for all your new and existing listings,” the e-tailer informed merchants on Wednesday morning.
TOI reported last month that e-tailers like Amazon and Bigbasket had started collecting this data from their sellers and brands. Amazon’s latest move now makes it mandatory in India.
“Failure to provide information in the “country of origin” attribute by August 10, 2020 may lead to enforcement action, including suppression of your listing,” the e-tailer said, which has about 6,00,000 sellers in India.
This comes a week after the government had proposed a timeline for e-tailers to reflect the country of origin for new listings by August 1 while the same for existing listings by October 1.
As reported by TOI, e-commerce companies had sought more time to reflect the changes in all products citing complexities and volume of products online. For instance, Amazon India has 180 million products while Walmart-owned Flipkart has 150 million. Flipkart, which has been showing country of origin for select categories, has now stepped up its effort on the matter following the government meetings. For Amazon India, select brands, for example in the food category, had started showing country of origin last month.
The issue has become one of the most debated topics since the border conflict started between India and China in Ladakh last month. By showing the country of origin, the idea is to help consumers make informed decisions when anti-China sentiment is growing in the country. From smartphones to large appliances and electronic accessories, a large volume of such products are imported from China to be sold here.
“I can start listing and it will still take time but they (Amazon) haven’t told us what happens when a product or its components are made in multiple countries, including China,” one of the merchants selling on Amazon India said.
An email sent to Amazon India did not elicit any response.