What is Legal Metrology Act and why does it exist in India?

An Act to establish and enforce standards of weights and measures, regulate trade and commerce in weights, measures and other goods which are sold or distributed by weight, measure or number and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

Now, let’s interpret the meaning beyond the words written in the Act.

Legal Metrology means that part of metrology which treats units of weighment and measurement, methods of weighment and measurement and weighing and measuring instruments, in relation to the mandatory technical and legal requirements which have the object of ensuring public guarantee from the point of view of security and accuracy of the weighments and measurements.

Legal Metrology for a layman means the regulation and standardization of methodology of weighments and measurements, technical efficiency of Weighing and Measuring Instruments in the Industrial and public domain by the Government of India.

If there is no act to rule and regularize the criteria of manufacturing instruments of weight and measurement or no defined guidelines as to the quantity of goods are included in the package, the public can be easily exploited because to the lack of information of what they are purchasing.

That’s why this Act Exists in India. The Act extends to whole of India.

The Act came to force on March 01, 2011. Prior to this act, Standards of Weights and Measures Act, 1976 and Standards of Weights and Measures (Enforcement) Act, 1985 existed which were repealed under Section 57(1) of the present act.

Some Important Definitions included under the Act:-

  • DEALER:- Dealer in relation to any weight or measure, means a person who, carries on, directly or otherwise, the business of buying, selling, supplying or distributing any such weight or measure, whether for cash or for deferred payment or for commission, remuneration or other valuable consideration, and includes a commission agent, an importer, a manufacturer, who sells, supplies, distributes or otherwise delivers any weight or measure manufactured by him to any person other than a dealer;
  • LABEL:- Label means any written, marked, stamped, printed or graphic matter affixed to, or appearing upon any pre-packaged commodity.
  • MANUFACTURER in relation to any weight or measure, means a person who

(i) manufactures weight or measure,

(ii) manufactures one or more parts, and acquires other parts, of such weight or measure and, after assembling those parts, claims the end product to be a weight or measure manufactured by himself or itself, as the case may be,

(iii) does not manufacture any part of such weight or measure but assembles parts thereof manufactured by others and claims the end product to be a weight or measure manufactured by himself or itself, as the case may be,

(iv) puts, or causes to be put, his own mark on any complete weight or measure made or manufactured by any other person and claims such product to be a weight or measure made or manufactured by himself or itself, as the case may be;

  • PRE-PACKAGED COMMODITY means a commodity which without the purchaser being present is placed in a package of whatever nature, whether sealed or not, so that the product contained therein has a pre-determined quantity;
  • PACKER means a person who, or a firm which pre-packs any commodity—whether in any bottle, tin, wrapper or otherwise, in units suitable for sale whether wholesale or retail.

WHAT DOES THE ACT SAY?

Every unit of weight or measure shall be in accordance with the metric system based on the international system of units.

  • Standard Units under Metrology: The base units of weights and measures specified in the act shall be the standard units of weights and measures.
  • Use of weight or measure for particular purposes.Any transaction, dealing or contract in respect of any goods, class of goods or undertakings shall be made by such weight, measure or number as may be prescribed.
  • Prohibition of quotation, etc., otherwise than in terms of standard units of weight, measure or numeration:  No person shall, in relation to any goods, things or service,

(a)  quote, or make announcement of, whether by word of mouth or otherwise, any price or charge, or

(b) issue or exhibit any price list, invoice, cash memo or other document, or

(c) prepare or publish any advertisement, poster or other document, or

(d) indicate the net quantity of a pre-packaged commodity, or

(e) express in relation to any transaction or protection, any quantity or dimension, otherwise than in accordance with the standard unit of weight, measure or numeration.

  • Any custom, usage, practice or method of whatever nature which permits a person to demand, receive or cause to be demanded or received, any quantity of article, thing or service in excess of or less than, the quantity specified by weight, measure or number in the contract or other agreement in relation to the said article, thing or service, shall be void.

DECLARATIONS ON THE PRE-PACKAGED COMMODITIES

No person shall manufacture, pack, sell, import, distribute, deliver, offer, expose or possess for sale any pre-packaged commodity unless such package is in such standard quantities or number and bears thereon with such declarations and particulars in such manner as may be prescribed.

Now, what are these Declarations?

1. Name and Address of Manufacturer

2. Name and Address of Packer (where manufacturer is not Packer)

3. Name and Address of the Importer (for imported goods)

4. The common or generic names of the commodity contained in the package and in case of packages with more than one product, the name and number of quantity of each product shall be mentioned on the package,

5. The net quantity, in terms of tile standard unit of weight or measure of the Commodity contained in package.

6. The month and year in which the commodity is manufactured or pre-packed or imported.

7. The Retail Sale Price of the Package.

8. Telephone no. Email address and postal address for complaints.

For packages containing Food items, the provisions of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act 1954 and the rules made there under shall apply in addition to the above.

The particulars of the declarations required to be specified under this rule on a package shall either be in Hindi in Devnagri script or in English. Any other regional Language is permissible in addition to hindi and English.

  • No wholesale dealer or retail dealer or importer shall sell, distribute, deliver, display or store for sale any commodity in the packaged form unless the package complies with in all respects, the provisions of the Act and these rules.
  • No retail dealer or other person including manufacturer, packer, importer and wholesale dealer shall make any sale of any commodity in packed form at a price exceeding the retail sale price thereof
  • Where the tax payable on any pre-packed commodity is revised, it is the duty of the Manufacturer or the packer, as case may be to inform the revised prices of the commodities to the stakeholders.

Exceptions to pre-packaged Commodities Regulations:

The above provisions shall not be applicable to below packages:

1. Packages containing more than 25 litre or 25 kg excluding cement and fertilizer sold in bags up to 50 kg;

2. Packages meant for institutional and Industrial use.

3. Packages with net weigh or measure less than 10gm or 10 milliliter Though M.R.P. has to be declared on such packages.

4. Any package containing fast food items packed by restaurant or hotel and the like.

5. Packages containing scheduled formulations and non-scheduled formulations covered under the Drugs (Price Control) Order,1995 made under section 3 of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 (10 of 1955).

6. Agricultural farm produces in packages of above 50 kg.

LICENSING REQUIREMENTS UNDER THE ACT AND THE PACKAGED COMMODITIES RULES, 2011:-

  • Section 19 of the Act: Every Person who imports any Weight and Measure needs to mandatorily register with the Director of Legal Metrology as an Importer of Weighs and Measures.

Points to be kept in Mind: (1) No Non-standard weight or measure marked in non standard unit should be imported in India without the Prior Approval of Central Govt. besides Registration under Section 19 as an Importer.

(2) Holder of Certificate of Registration as an Importer should ensure that the Model of the weigh or measure imported is approved by the Central govt. before sale in India.

  • Section 22 Model Approval: Every person, before manufacturing or importing any weight or measure shall seek the approval of model of such weight or measure from the Central Govt. power being delegated to Director of Legal Metrology.
  • Section 23 License for Manufacture, Repair or sale of Weight and Measure: No person shall MANUFACTURE, REPAIR or SELL, or offer, expose or possess for repair or sale, any weight or measure unless he holds a license issued by the Controller of Legal Metrology.
  • RULE 27 of Packaged Commodities Rules, 2011: Every individual, firm, Hindu undivided family, society, company or corporation who or which pre-packs or imports any commodity for sale, distribution or delivery shall make an application, accompanied by a fee of rupees five hundred, to the Director or the Controller for the registration of Person as an Importer or Manufacturer and Packer of Pre-packaged commodities.

KEY PENALTIES LEVIED UNDER THE ACT FOR OFFENCES

  • Penalty for use of non-standard weight or measure: Penalty upto 25,000 and upto 6 months of imprisonment for repeated offence.
  • Penalty for manufacture or sale of non-standard weight or measure: Penalty upto 25,000 and upto 3 years of imprisonment for repeated offence.
  • Penalty for failure to get model approved: Penalty upto Rs. 25,000 and upto 1 year of imprisonment for repeated offence or both.
  • Penalty for selling, etc., of non-standard packages: Penalty upto Rs. 50,000 that can be extended to 1 lakh or 1 year of imprisonment for repeated offence or both.
  • Penalty for non-registration by importer of weight or measure: Penalty upto 25,000 and upto 6 months of imprisonment for repeated offence or both.
  • Penalty for manufacture of weight and measure without license: Penalty upto 25,000 and upto 1 year of imprisonment for repeated offence or both.

Documentation required for obtaining Registration as an Importer of Weighs and Measures under Section 19:

1. Registration Proof of the Business

2. Proof depicting the Place of Business.

3. Packing material / Slip / Sticker / Label which is being pasted on the packages.

4. Import-Export Code

5. Request letter along with Board Resolution on company’s letter head

6. Details of weight or measure to be imported

7. Copy of the literature of the items to be manufactured.

MODEL APPROVAL OF THE WEIGH OR MEASURE TO BE IMPORTED

Documentation required for obtaining Registration as an Importer, Manufacturer or Packer of Pre-packaged commodities:

1. Registration Proof of the Business

2. Proof depicting the Place of Business.

3. Packing material / Slip / Sticker / Label which is being pasted on the packages.

4. Import-Export Code

5. List of Products imported or manufactured or packed

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DISCLAIMER: The entire contents of this article have been prepared on the basis of relevant provisions and the information existing at the time of preparation. Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, the author assumes no liability therefore. Users of this information are expected to refer the relevant law. the information as given in no case shall be construed as a Professional advice or opinion.

IN NO EVENT THE AUTHOR SHALL BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, SPECIAL OR INCIDENTAL DAMAGE RESULTING FROM OR ARISING OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE USE OF THIS INFORMATION.

Author Bio

Qualification: CS
Company: DEALOUT PROFESSIONALS
Location: GURGAON, Haryana, India
Member Since: 02 Aug 2021 | Total Posts: 1

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