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Drug watchdog DCGI issues notice to US e-giant Amazon

New Delhi: Country's drug regulator DCGI has issued notices to Amazon and some other e-commerce websites for allegedly selling "spurious, adulterated and unapproved" cosmetics, including imported brands, and has warned them of penal actions.

The notice from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) follows raids by drug inspectors at various locations across the country on October 5-6, during which they found that some indigenously manufactured cosmetics without valid manufacturing licence and having ingredients imported without necessary registration certificates were being sold on the e-commerce platforms.

The law provides for penal actions ranging from monetary fine to imprisonment for such lapses.

When contacted, an Amazon India spokesperson told PTI the company takes strict action against sellers of "illegal or fake products" as and when such incidents are reported to it. " is a third-party marketplace which enables sellers to list their products for sale to Indian customers. Sellers on own their respective products and are responsible for product compliances, as may be applicable.

" has a very high bar of customer experience and does take strict action against sellers who are selling illegal or fake products us, in accordance with the due process of law, as and when such incidents are reported to us," the spokesperson said.

According to a copy of the notice seen by PTI, the cosmetics being sold by these websites included imported brands without valid documents and containing ingredients in the "negative list" of the BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards).

Asking the companies to reply to its notice within 10 days, the Drug Controller General of India has warned them of penal action for "offering for sale, sale and distribution of spurious, adulterated cosmetics and cosmetics manufactured without valid licence in contravention of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940."

"In case, you fail to submit the reply within the stipulate period, it will be presumed that you have no reply to offer and appropriate action as deemed fit will be initiated against you," Drug Controller General of India S Eswara Reddy said in the notice.

Under the Drug and Cosmetics Act, it is mandatory to get a registration certificate for import of cosmetics into India, while all cosmetics manufactured in the country need to have a valid licence. Besides, the cosmetics need to conform to the standards laid down by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and cannot have any ingredient mentioned in its negative list.

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