From 2018, MRP labels on products sold online mandatory

According to government’s new labelling rules, it will be mandatory for products sold on e-commerce platforms and medical devices declared as drugs like stents from next year onwards to carry retail prices and other essential information, news agency PTI reported.

Amendments to the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011, was approved by Union Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan and will come into effect from January 1, 2018. It aims to regulate the pricing of pre-packaged commodities along with certain labelling requirements.

“Products on e-commerce platforms to display declarations required under the amended rules. Medical devices declared as drugs brought under the rules,” an official statement said.

It also prohibits dual MRPs on products and says “no person shall declare different MRPs (dual MRP) on an identical pre-packaged commodity unless allowed under any law”. According to the government, it will also benefit consumers at large as there are complaints regarding dual MRP for items sold.

According to the government, the amendment would not only ensure that consumer protection is enhanced but will also balance the requirement of ease of doing business. It has also brought in products sold on e-commerce platform under its ambit.

“Goods displayed by the seller on e-commerce platform should contain declarations required under the rules like name & address of the manufacturer, packer and importer, name of the commodity, net content, retail sale price, consumer care complaint, dimension etc,” the statement said.

In the amendment, the government has also decided to increase the font size of the declaration on the packaging to make it more legible.

With regards to medical devices like stents and valves, the government said that consumers were facing difficulty because devices were “sold at prices according to the paying capacity of the consumer”.

“Also, there are important declarations other than MRP that need to be displayed, are brought into the purview of declarations to be made under the rules,” it said.

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