Legal metrology provides rules and regulations for controlling weights and measuring instruments. Legal metrology also protects public safety, the environment, consumers, and traders and plays a critical role in fair trade. The Controller of Weights & Measures is the competent Authority to grant Licence to Manufacturer or Dealer Repairer and importer in weights & measures, and the Controller also does the registration of Packer/Manufacturer/Importer of packaged commodities. The role of Legal Metrology has a specific process in defining licenses and application procedures related to weighing and measuring instruments and devices. The manufacturer, importer, marketing, and repair business must follow these rules and regulations to import these measuring instruments and related equipment.
Objectives of Legal Metrology
The following are the objectives of legal metrology in granting the license to the packaged commodities
- To regulate fair trade and commerce in weights and measurements of packaged commodities.
- To set and enforce the standards of weights and measurements according to international standards.
- To regulate the manufacturers, sale, and use of goods by weights, measure, or numbers.
- To rationalize the metric system in India in trading of packaged commodities.
Role of Legal Metrology and Its Functions
The legal metrology act ensures a suitable environment for traders, industry, and consumers and brings a trustable environment to conduct business. The primary functions and role of Legal Metrology are as follows.
- Protect consumers from unfair traders and trade practices.
- Provide regulation according to international standards for controlling measurements and measuring instruments.
- The role of legal metrology department is to grant and renew licenses of manufacturers, repairers, and dealers of weights and measures.
- The controlling Authority does the verification and stamping of weighing and measuring instruments and collection of verification fees.
- The officials of the legal metrology department conduct surprise raids and inspections to eliminate illegal and non-standard weights and measures in the market.
- The legal metrology department is the legal Authority to implement the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011, which require all packaged commodities and containers to have declarations stating the composition of net weight, volume, length, maximum retail price, and manufacture or packaging date on the packs of the product.
- Every year, all users of weights, measures, and measuring tools must be certified by the controlling Authority. All manufacturers, repairers, and dealers of weight and measures licenses are to be renewed annually.
- The wholesale package also mentions the total number of the net quantity in terms of standard units of weights, measures or a number of the commodity.
Role of Legal Metrology in Regulating Packaged Commodities’ Weights and Measures
Section 19 of the Act specifies that only an individual has the Authority to import any weight or measure if the importer or owner is registered with the concerned Authority and holds a valid LMPC Certification. The following are the role of legal metrology which deal with the weights and measurements in packaged commodities.
Checking Of the Net Quantity of Commodities in Packages
- The Controller or any Legal Metrology Officer authorized under the Act to determine and check the net quantity of a packaged commodity shall be provided by the concerned Government with adequate equipment to carry out his work to determine the degree of accuracy practically and efficiently.
- Before determining the net quantity in any package, the Controller or Legal Metrology Officer shall ensure that the operational standards and other equipment function correctly.
- Every manufacturer, importer, packer or wholesale dealer must render such assistance to the Controller or any Legal Metrology officer to carry out his duties efficiently.
- Any weights and measurements owned by the manufacturer, importer, packer or wholesale dealer are used by any Legal Metrology officer to verify the net quantity contained in any package. The authorized person will release such weight and measure once his work is completed.
Instructions about the Determination of Quantity and Error at the Manufacturer’s or Packer’s Premises
- The empty tare shall be taken and determined to determine the weight of package commodities. Suppose the tare package of the concerned product weight is equal to or less than 3/10 of the maximum permissible weight for the concerned commodity. In that case, it can be used to determine the net quantity of individual packages.
- To check the Net weight, in the absence of any empty tare packages, one sample package shall be opened, and the net weight, the tare weight of the package shall be determined to check whether the importer or manufacturer followed the standards of the legal metrology act.
- To cross-check the length of the commodity, the package can be opened if it is impossible to measure the package without opening and shall be measured through a calibrated steel tape of suitable length.
- The authorized Authority reads the actual net volume of the commodity in every package and shall be noted carefully for verification.
The role of legal metrology is to obtain the controller or any Legal Metrology officer to document the results of these examinations of gross weight, net weight and tare weight of the commodity in the Form specified in the Eleventh Schedule of the Act along with any other observation as he may wish to make a note. These observations were then verified for granting the LMPC certificate or renewal or during the inspection to determine the standards of weights and measures followed by the manufacturers or importers.
The role of Legal metrology in regulating weights and measures for packaged commodities is an important task that needs to be verified before the approval of the LMPC certificate. Any pre-packaged commodities manufactured or sold without the statutory declarations may invite penalties under the relevant legal provisions.