India’s Consumer Protection Act Comes into Force
E-commerce is gaining popularity in India. Hence there is an increased need to protect consumers who buy goods online. The Consumer Protection Act, 2019, which is replacing a legislation from 1986, takes an important step in this direction. It came into force on 20 July 2020 and prevents unfair trade practices by e-commerce platforms. E-commerce entities are obliged to provide essential information on issues such as return and refund, modes of payment and corresponding security issues as well as the country of origin of products to the consumers.
Product liability is another key element of the new Act. Consumers can now file cases against manufacturers, service providers, or product sellers of defective goods at competent courts in India. In the event of damage, compensation can be claimed.
The Act also establishes a new regulator, the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA). The authority can order recalls of defective products, regulate violations of consumer rights, supervise misleading advertisement, and impose punishments.
The Government of India has notified rules for the implementation of specific aspects of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019. For example, the Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020 which became effective on 23 July 2020.
As part of the activities of the Indo-German Working Group on Quality Infrastructure, the German side shared information and good practices of the German and European systems of product liability with the Indian partners. Both sides also engage in a close exchange on experiences and good practices from the European Union and Germany in the field of market surveillance.
For more information on the Consumer Protection Act, 2019, please refer to this announcement of the Indian Press Information Bureau.