Legal Metrology Packaged Commodities (LMPC) is a mandatory requirement for all manufacturers or importers of packaged commodities. All pre-packaged commodities imported into India shall conform the rules and regulations of Legal Metrology Act, 2009 and Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011. Under rule 11 of theLMPC, 2011, any importer engaged in pre-packaging the commodities to sell or distribute should possess an LMPC importer certificate to proceed with their business. In most cases, the manufacturer and seller of the commodity can be the same person. In the process of buying and selling the commodity, it is normal to have a dispute as it has broader terms in the market, and in such cases, there are lot of challenges faced by LMPC importers.
The Legal Metrology Act 2009 follows international standards that each unit of weight or measure shall be under the metric system based on the international system of units.
Who needs the LMPC importer license?
- Manufacture Company
- Food and Packaged food Importers
- Cosmetic and paints Importer
- Importer and Packager
Common challenges faced by LMPC importers
Importers are a vital part of the Indian economy; they provide financial, travel, and insurance services. They help the country by supplying scarce, low-cost, high-quality products and the supply of products that do not exist in the country. However, the importers often face some hurdles in importing goods.
The following are the common challenges faced by LMPC importers:
Sourcing a high–quality and scarce product is the real pain for the importers. If sourcing has been done with the information gathered from the website, there is a high chance of scamming. So the Importer should have proper background verification before importing the products.
Shipping and logistics would be a huge challenges faced by LMPC importers; like local laws, un-exceptional circumstances, delivery delay from sourcing, a problem with paper works and products damaged during logistics etc., are some of the problems that an importer face during shipping and logistic process.
The important criterion every Importer should remember is trailing a quality product to our market. The biggest challenges faced by LMPC importers are getting quality products, which is essential to obtain the LMPC license. If the pre-packaged commodity is perishable goods, then checking the quality of the pre-packaged product is mandatory to get credibility among customers.
Negotiation with international sellers, apart from language and cultural barriers is the foremost challenges faced by LMPC importers; like reaching out to the customer representative and communicating and negotiating prices to manage the local pricing standards of the local market are the critical aspects in pricing
Local Laws and Customs
One of the biggest challenges faced by LMPC importers is abiding by and managing the local laws of both the sourcing and importing countries. If any of the laws or local rules are not followed properly, there is a possibility of penalization and stoppage of the stocks in the customs department. Suppose the pre-packaged good is a food item; then stoppage of products for products by customs may incur a loss to the Importer. And also, the customs duty and tax may increase the cost of your product, which again is a burden to the importers.
Challenges faced by LMPC importers – violations of rules and penalization
Any violation under the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodity) Rules 2011 may invite penalties
- If any of the provisions in the LMPC of rules 27 to 31 of the LMPC rules 2011 are violated, the fine is INR 4,000
- For violation of any of these provisions of LMPC rules, for which no punishment has been provided in the Act, then the fine of that violation is INR2,000
- If the Importer applies for Legal Metrology Packaged Certificate (LMPC) after 90 days of the commencement of import of goods, then the Importer may be charged with late fee of Rs.5000.
Importers must take note of these as they could end up being liable for any violations.
How can we overcome the challenges faced by LMPC importers?
The Legal Metrology Packaged commodities disputes and challenges may arise for various reasons. If any manufacturer, packer, seller, distributor or Importer unintentionally or unknowingly has committed something which contradicts the Act or committed the offence under the Act. The following are some of the provisions that an importer of packaged goods shall follow to avoid punishment and penalization.
- Every manufacturer, packer, Importer, or seller should ensure that they comply with the rules and regulations of the LMPC Act to avoid penal proceedings.
- The manufacturer should make a proper declaration on the package of the commodity, such as date of manufacturing, origin country details or details of the product in the Hindi or English language on the prepared commodity.
- The MRP should be appropriately labelled in transparent form and must be mentioned on the commodity package, including all the taxes (including GST).
- For any customer contact, there should be a proper and complete address of the manufacturer or Importer of the commodity on the package.
- Manufacturers should keep in mind that they should mention the country of origin of the commodity.
- Contact information such as an email address and telephone number should be given on the commodity’s package, and customer care support details should also be mentioned.
- The commodity manufacturer must have the manufacturing license and certificate to manufacture such a pre-packed commodity to sell its product in the market.
- The Importer of the commodity or product must obtain the Importer’s certificate before importing any pre-packaged commodity into the Indian Territory.
- Suppose any problem is faced by the Importer while importing any pre-packaged commodity. In that case, he should immediately contact the legal metrology expert and work out a way to get out of that situation or else the lag in getting the issue may lead to a fine.
- Every manufacturer, seller, dealer, packer, or Importer must abide with the rules and regulations of the legal metrology packaged commodity act and ensure they have the proper registration and license to manufacture or import such a commodity.
- It is advisable that every manufacturer and Importer can consult with a legal metrology expert before starting their business of manufacturing and importing the pre-packed commodity in the Indian market. By doing this, the manufacturer and Importer will be much more aware of the compliance of the Act and its rules. They will be fine while importing, selling, distributing or manufacturing the commodity.
- The pre-packaged commodity’s seller, manufacturer and Importer should adhere to legal metrology rules. This will keep the manufacturer and, importantly, the seller away from any difficulties in the Indian market concerning the packed commodities.
Every manufacturer or Importer of packaged commodities must abide by and ensure the rules and regulations of the legal metrology act to avoid the challenges faced by LMPC importers. Customs authorities in India are becoming more stringent in enforcing Legal Metrology rules and regulations. No one may import any quantity or measure unless he receives an importer certificate under Section 19 of the Legal Metrology Act of 2009.