The Department of Consumer Affairs (DoCA) has set up a committee to draft “Safety Pledge” to prevent sale of hazardous goods on e-commerce platforms. The pledge, a voluntary commitment for e-commerce platforms, is aimed to ensure that appropriate measures are taken by the platforms to prevent sale of unsafe goods online. A stakeholder consultation in this regard was also held on Thursday.

Rohit Kumar Singh, Secretary, Department of Consumer Affairs chaired a stakeholder consultation on the same. The committee, which includes members from e-commerce platforms, consumer associations, industry bodies and National Law Universities, will submit its report in two weeks.

proposed principles

“The proposed principles of the Safety Pledge for e-commerce platforms include detecting and preventing the sale of unsafe products, co-operating with statutory authorities responsible for product safety, raising consumer product safety awareness amongst third-party sellers and empowering consumers on product safety issues,” an official statement added.

Consumer rights’ recognized under Section 2(9) of the Consumer Protection Act include the right to be protected against the marketing of goods, products or services that are hazardous to life and property. Further, consumer commissions are empowered under the Act to pass directions to entities to not offer hazardous or unsafe goods for sale.

The statement added that DoCA is actively collaborating with the European Commission to adopt best international practices aimed at detecting and preventing the sale of unsafe goods to consumers on online platforms. “The product safety pledge is a voluntary commitment by online platforms with respect to the safety of goods sold to consumers. The pledge aims to better protect consumers from the risk of purchasing unsafe products available for sale on e-commerce platforms,” the official statement added.

The safety pledge aims to raise standards across all online marketplaces operating in India. Signing the pledge can also be a public way of demonstrating their commitment to enhancing consumer product safety, it added.