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Legal Metrology

Any manufacturer or dealer of weights and measures or related instruments and any packer or importer of packaged commodities is subject to the Legal Metrology Act and its underlying rules and regulations. If you fall into one of these categories, you must register with the authorities and ensure that you comply with the applicable rules.



    Legal Metrology Department

    The Legal Metrology Act establishes and enforces weight and measurement standards and regulations, as well as other issues related to them. Along with the rules pertaining to various subjects such as national standards, model approvals, and numeration, the major enactments regulating packaged goods have a wide impact because it mandates registration and further compliance for packers, dealers and specifically eCommerce businesses dealing with packaged goods.

    The Act establishes guidelines for the packaging of goods in order to maintain fair trade practises and protect consumers’ rights. It also specifies weight and measurement requirements for packed items. The Act also specifies what disclosures should be put on the box and how it should be done. The Department of Legal Metrology of each state, which is part of the Department of Consumer Affairs, is in charge of the Act.

    Importance of Legal Metrology for Packaged Goods

    • Unpacked items are exempt from legal metrology regulations because the weighing is usually done after the consumer’s entry. The buyer is also aware of the identity of the manufacturer or seller, and the product is sometimes created in front of the buyer, such as flour in chakki
    • The manufacturer’s identity is unknown in the case of packaged items. The manufacturer may be out of the buyer’s reach. Between the manufacturer and the final consumer, there are many intermediaries. It’s tough to pinpoint who is accountable for changes in quantity and quality
    • The Legal Metrology Act ensures that the end consumer has access to all relevant information regarding packaged goods, such as expiration date, weight, and price, in order to make informed purchasing decisions..

    Which Packaged Goods are Subject to the Rules?

    The fundamental provisions apply to all packaged goods. Certain provisions, however, apply specifically to specific commodities. Chapter 2 of the Act, for example, applies to packaged items intended for retail sale. This chapter does not apply to commodities purchased directly from the manufacturer for institutional and industrial usage, such as a firm purchasing cookies in quantity to distribute among staff. Commodities weighing more than 25kgs or litres (50kgs for fertilisers and cement) are free from retail restrictions.

    Mandatory Declaration

    1. Manufacturer/Importer/Packer Details.

    On packaged items, the name of the manufacturing, packaging, or importing entity, as well as the address, must be given. The names and addresses of both the manufacturing and packaging companies must be disclosed separately if they are different. Food products are exempt from this rule because they are covered under the Food Safety and Security Act.

    • Generic name of the commodity that is being sold
    • Maximum retail price (inclusive of all taxes) must be declared
    • Date of manufacture, packaging or import must be mentioned on the packaging along with viz. month & year
    • Date of expiry along with month and year should be mentioned on the product
    • The time span within which the product is best to use can also be mentioned
    • Quantity of the commodity
    • Ingredient/s of the commodity
    • Customer service or helpline for customer grievances.

    What If You Don’t Comply?

    Lastly, the Legal Metrology Act, which covers packaged goods, is complicated and covered by a large number of details. Businesses that deal with packaged goods will find it challenging to comply with the act. A legal metrology consultant like Vakilsearch, who has a lot of expertise and understanding, can assist you with compliance and provide guidance on the same.

    • Manufacturers, packers, and importers must all register with the State Controller of Legal Metrology or the Director of Legal Metrology. A punishment of ₹4000 shall be imposed if this rule is broken. A punishment of ₹2000/- or ₹4000/- would be imposed if standard units are not utilised for the declaration, depending on the case
    • Penalties for non-declaration can be as high as ₹25,000 for the first offence, ₹50,000 for the second, and up to ₹100,000 or imprisonment, or both, for subsequent offences. There are a slew of other penalties for different violations stated in the act
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