Government of India notifies the Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020

On 23 July 2020, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Government of India notified the Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020 (Rules).

The objective of the Rules is to regulate the e-commerce goods and services sector and ensure transparency to enable consumers to make informed online purchases from e-commerce entities and sellers offering their goods and, or services within India.

The following are the key highlights from the recently notified Rules:

  • The Rules are applicable to all goods and services bought or sold over digital or electronic networks, all e-commerce retailers and all e-commerce models;
  • E-commerce entities are defined as “any person who owns, operates or manages digital or electronic facility or platform for electronic commerce, but does not include a seller offering his goods or services for sale on a marketplace e-commerce entity” and also include marketplace e-commerce entities and inventory e-commerce entities;
  • Certain requirements per the Rules from e-commerce entities are that they must:
  1. establish an adequate grievance redressal system and appoint a grievance officer;
  2. display the legal name of e-commerce entity, contact details, customer care, principal geographic address, details of website, in a clear and accessible manner on its platform;
  3. display the name and details of any importer, seller from whom it has purchased or showcased goods or services in a clear and accessible manner on its platform;
  4. not manipulate the price of the goods or services offered on its platform to gain unreasonable profit;
  5. not impose cancellation charges on the customer unless the entity bears the cost on the same.
  • Marketplace and inventory e-commerce entities are required to disclose information on available payment methods, the security of those payment methods, any fees or charges payable by users etc., prominently in a clear and accessible manner on its platform;
  • The country of origin and other relevant details about the goods and services that are necessary for the consumer to make an informed decision at the pre-purchase stage must be provided by the seller on marketplace e-commerce entity’s platform;
  • The provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 are to apply for any violation of the provisions of the Rules.

The Rules can be accessed through the following link: