NEW DELHI: The activities of selling counterfeit products on e-commerce platforms are posing a real threat to the country’s economy. Expressing concern over sale of fake products on the e-commerce platform, the Central Board of Excise and Customs on Friday said it is considering putting in place a voluntary code of practice for e-retailers to curb illicit trade.
Najib Shah, chairman, CBEC said, “New challenges are emerging for customs. E-commerce is one such major area of vulnerability. E-commerce in India provides an unparalleled platform for sellers of both genuine and counterfeit products. So, we are looking at possibility of introducing voluntary code of practice for e-retailers.”
The easy concealment of identity encourages sale of counterfeit products on the e-commerce platform. At times, intermediaries are denied judicial protection in the absence of strong law, he said.
Online marketplaces have become a preferred hub for illicit operators owing to their wider reach and ease of access. e-Commerce in India is growing substantially with increased traction of mobile telephony, rising internet penetration and disposable income levels.
Stating that any smuggling and counterfeit activities is a matter of great concern to the government, the CBEC chief said, “This game is done at the cost of the honest tax payers.
Though it results in financial gain to the person infringing the law but it is a financial loss to the exchequer.”
Shah also emphasised on the intellectual property rights and called for structured interaction between the customs and stakeholders on this issue. Moreover, the perpetrators of illicit trade are becoming increasingly sophisticated.