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July 24, 2020

Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020 come into force

The Central Government has notified Consumer Protection (E-commerce) Rules, 2020, under Section 94 of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 to regulate and prevent unfair trade practices in e-commerce (market places and inventory led models), direct selling and to protect the interests of consumers.

These rules shall apply to all goods and services bought or sold over digital or electronic network. Some of the salient points of note are:

  1. An e-commerce entity to include a foreign company; or an office, branch or agency outside India owned or controlled by a resident of India.

  2. Every e-commerce entity shall establish grievance redressal mechanism, acknowledge receipt of consumer complaint within 48 hours and redress complaint with 30 days of receipt of complaint.

  3. Every marketplace e-commerce entity shall require sellers to display details including the name, address, customer care number, GSTIN, PAN details, etc. The platform shall take efforts to maintain a record of sellers who have repeatedly offered goods/services previously taken down/removed. Every inventory e-commerce entity shall provide and display information related to return, refund, exchange, warranty, delivery & shipment, payment methods, fees or charges, etc.

  4. Sellers shall have written contracts with e-commerce entities and shall appoint a grievance officer. Sellers shall not falsely represent themselves as a customer and post reviews. No e-commerce entity shall engage in mis-leading advertisements.

  5.  Violation of these rules shall be penalized under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 with either fine or imprisonment or both.

The Rules can be accessed at

– http://egazette.nic.in/WriteReadData/2020/220661.pdf.

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