Applicability: The Legal Metrology Acts & Rules is applicable to the following people:
Persons Engaged in
- Retail or Wholesale dealing
- Repairing of any weight or measure
- Manufacturing, Importing and/or Packaging any item.
- Persons who are using any weight or measure in any transaction or Industrial Production or Protection.
Rules made under the Act:
1. The Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011
2. The Legal Metrology (General) Rules, 2011
3. The Legal Metrology (National Standards) Rules, 2011
4. The Legal Metrology (Numeration) Rules, 2011
5. The Legal Metrology (Approval of Models) Rules, 2011
6. The Indian Institute of Legal Metrology Rules, 2011
7. The Legal Metrology (Government Approved Test Centre) Rules, 2013
Objective of the Act and Rules:
To protect the consumer’s interest by making the originator (manufacturer, packer or importer) of the packaged commodities/ standard weights and measures, accountable for such products manufactured, packed or imported by them, which are meant for consumption by the general public.
Compliance under the Act:
1. Maximum Retail Price (MRP):
a. The commodities to have the Maximum Retail Price (MRP) printed on the packages along with the words “inclusive of all taxes”.
Eg.MRP: Rs. 1999/- (inclusive of all taxes).
b. MRP once printed cannot be increased.
c. Certain items may be packed to offer any free quantity provided it is included in the standard size and the MRP is reduced proportionately.
d. As per the Packaged Commodity Rules, the net content shall not be disclosed if the commodities are given free of cost.
2. Principal display panel: Total area of the pack where all the mandatory requirements are specified in one place, on one side of the pack.
a. No separate sticker should be affixed;
b. No over writing
3. Statutory Declarations on Products: The following mandatory declarations shall be made on the packages either at the factory level or at manufacturing level (depot of the factory).
a. The name and address of the manufacturer or packer or importer.
b. The common or generic name of the commodity.
c. The net quantity of the content.
d. Month and year of manufacturer or packing or import.
e. Retail sale price: MRP (including all taxes)
f. Size/dimension of the commodity when relevant.
g. Name, address and telephone no. of the Consumer complaint Cell.
h. Marking "GM" for genetically modified food items.
Note: The provisions of Legal Metrology Act are not applicable for the commodities meant for Industrial Use.
4. Re-stickering: Re-stickering is not permissible. Packers are not permitted to affix individual stickers or labels on the package for altering or making declarations.
However for reducing the MRP, a sticker with revised lower MRP (inclusive of all taxes) may be affixed and the same shall not cover the MRP declaration made by the manufacturer or the packer, on the label of the package.
5. Import of Products:
a. To ensure that proper registration is obtained for importing the products.
b. The pre-packed commodities to carry the specific declarations on their labels as specified in the import policy.
c. The importer has to comply with all the necessary declaratory compliances before selling, distributing, delivering, displaying or storing the imported goods.
6. Double stamping
A weight or measure or product manufactured in one state and sold or transferred to another state will require double verification and stamping - both at the end of manufacturing state and at the end of user state.
Non Compliance of the Act:
a. There are stringent penal consequences in case of violation of the act and rules.
b. The initial offences are compoundable, while the subsequent offences may lead to criminal prosecution of the officers in default of the Company.
a. There is a lack of practical procedures available for revision of the Maximum Retail Price (MRP) of the products.
b. There is a lack of procedure with regard to the treatment of imported goods on par with the domestically manufactured goods (Even at the point of import). This lack would render the Packaged Commodity Rules highly impractical, ambiguous and prone to litigation.
c. The Packaged Commodity rules alone have more than 30 mandatory compliances required to be adhered to by the retailers, apart from various other compliances in the subsequent rules.
d. It is very difficult to explain the concerned officers when the goods are meant for wholesale, industrial or institutional consumption. The labelling requirements shall not be applicable if the goods are not meant for retail sale. Therefore, the industry is forced to approach the courts to give relief from the ambiguity and inflexibility of legal metrology and labelling law regime in the country.
a. The exporter located in a foreign territory would be unaware of the Indian labelling laws therefore such goods are always prone to inadvertent non-compliance.
b. Similarly when the transactions are not linear (ie. Goods passed on to many buyers through high sea sale agreement) there is very little scope for complying with the labelling laws.
c. Inorder to comply with the legal metrology if the importer opts to label the imported products in the customs bonded warehouse then the escalated cost shall naturally spread to the end consumer and be indirectly prejudicial to their interest. Thus defeating the whole purpose of the act and the rules.