Legal Metrology is a term defined as the legal requirements that are required to be fulfilled for governance over the utilisation of standard weights and for any source of instruments that are utilised for the purpose of measurements. The essential objective of the Legal Metrology Packaged Commodities Rules, 2011 is to ensure that a public guarantee is being provided for the terms of determining the security and accuracy of Weighments and Measurements.
There are a few provisions enacted through the Constitution of India for Weights and Measures that are stated as follows –
- Under the Union List, Entry 50, it is stated about the establishment of the set Standards Weights and Measures where the Entry establishes the framework for the Acts and rules in accordance with the Legal Metrology of Packaged Commodities, specifications in regard to the set standards and the relation of the Weighments and Measurements on an international level, the training requirements of Legal Metrology, etc.
- Under the Concurrent List, Entry 33 A, it is stated about the enforcement of the laws enacted in relation to the Legal Metrology.
The Legal Metrology Act, 2009 was implemented by the Department of Consumers Affairs, under the governance of the Indian Government for the purpose of enacting provisions specifically covering provisions of the now repleaded act –
- Standards of Weights and Measures Act, 1976,
- Standards of Weights and Measures (Enforcement) Act, 1985.
Rules Enacted under the Legal Metrology Act, 2009
The following are the Rules enacted by the Department of Consumers Affairs, under the governance of the Government of India, to be read along with the Legal Metrology Act, 2009 –
- The Legal Metrology (General) Rules, 2011,
- The Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011,
- The Legal Metrology (Approval of Modules) Rules, 2011,
- The Legal Metrology (National Standards) Rules, 2011,
- The Legal Metrology (Numeration) Rules, 2011,
- Indian Institute of Legal Metrology Rules, 2011,
- Legal Metrology (Government Approved Test Center) Rules, 2013.
Declarations for each Packaged Commodity
In accordance with the Legal Metrology Act and the Legal Metrology Packaged Commodities Rules, the definition of a “Pre-Packaged Commodity” is any commodity that is packaged without the presence of the purchaser; whatsoever may be the nature of the product being packaged, no matter whether sealed or not, the commodity that is packaged is to have a Pre-Determined Quantity. The commodity becomes a Packaged Commodity when brought to the final stage of the sale in retail to the Customer.
In accordance with the Legal Metrology Packaged Commodities Rules, the Department of Consumers Affairs has enacted certain declarations to be mandatorily followed for each and every type of packaged commodity, which are mentioned as follows –
- The Details of the Name and Address of the Producer, Packager, and Importer of the Packaged Commodity.
- In the case of Imported Packaged Commodity, the Country of Origin of the Product
- The Generic Name of the Packaged Commodity.
- The Net Quantity of the Packaged Commodity, strictly in accordance with the set Standard Unit of the Weights and Measures or in Numerical.
- Date, Month and Year of the Packaged Commodity’s Production, Packaging, and Importation.
- The Maximum Retail Price, also known as MRP, of the Packaged Commodity that is Inclusive of all Taxes, in INR.
- The Customer Care Details of the Producing Company.
Along with the Rules mentioned above to be followed mandatorily, the government in the Legal Metrology Packaged Commodities Rules has implied that 19 Commodities are to be Packaged in the prescribed sizes as mentioned in the Regulations that is in the interest of the Customer.
The Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Amendment Rules
With Reference to the Notification issued on 2nd November 2021, amendments in relation to the Legal Metrology Packaged Commodities Rules were scheduled to come into effect on 1st April 2022, which is rescheduled with an extension on 1st October 2022, as per the recent Notification issued by the Government of India on 28th March 2022 in accordance with the amended LMPC Rules that is also to come on effect on the same date.
The below mentioned are the essential clarifications made to the Legal Metrology Packaged Commodities Rules that are to be enforced from the effective date –
- There will be no further requirement for mentioning the Unit Sale Price in accordance with the amended LMPC Rules as the new amendment states that the Unit Sale Price of the Packaged Commodity is to be equal to the Retail Sale Price.
- Prosecution against the Producer or Packager or the Importer of the Pre-Packaged Commodity is prohibited even if the Producer or Packager or the Importer is utilising the amended labels from 1st April 2022.
- As Rule 5 of the LMPC Rules is omitted in accordance with the latest amendment, the Second Schedule of the Legal Metrology Packaged Commodities Rules, 2011 is also to be revoked that states the list of Packaged Commodities that are required to be in accordance with the Standard Quantities.
Clarifications for the USP under the latest Amendment
The below mentioned are the clarifications made for the Unit Sale Price, also known as the USP, in accordance with the latest amendment of the Legal Metrology Packaged Commodities Rules –
- The Unit Sale Price of the Packaged Commodity is to be estimated to the nearest two decimal numbers.
- If the Net Quantity, length, volume, number, etc., of the Packaged Commodity, is lesser than 1 kilogram, meter, litre, number, etc., then the Unit Sale Price is to be declared in accordance with the applicable gram, centimetre, millilitre, number, etc.
- The Unit Sale Price is not needed to be mentioned in the Pre-Packaged Commodity when the Retail Sale Price is to be equal to the Unit Sale Price.
- For Packaged Commodities containing liquor or any other alcoholic based beverages, the State Excise Laws and Rules enacted will be mandated only in the State of the Packaged Commodity being manufactured.
Due to the Extension provided, the Producer, Packager, and Importer have been furnished with an additional time frame to conform in accordance with the Amendment Rules 2021. Post 1st October 2022, every one of the Producers, Packagers, and Importers would be expected to reevaluate and revise their Packaged Commodity that is to be consistent with the new set standards.
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