The Legal Metrology Act establishes and enforces standards and regulations of weights & measurements or any aspects that are incidental to the same. Although there are various rules mentioned under the act, one of the major parts of the act is about packaged commodities.
For the maintenance of fair trade practices and protection of consumers’ rights, the act defines rules regarding the packaging of goods. It also outlines standards regarding weight & measurements of packaged goods.
What declaration should be made on the packaging and how is also mentioned in the act. The act falls under the jurisdiction of the Department of Legal Metrology registration which comes under the Department of Consumer Affairs.
The question that will arise in your mind is – why does one need to adhere to the Legal Metrology Act in the first place? Many commodities such as vegetables, flour from chakki are manufactured, sold, and purchased then why do packaged goods require the legal metrology certificate?
Unpacked goods do not need to fall under Legal Metrology rules as most often the weighing is done before the consumer. The manufacturer’s or seller’s identity is also known to the buyer and sometimes the product is manufactured in front of a buyer like flour in chakki.
In the case of packed goods, the manufacturer’s identity is not known. The manufacturer might be beyond the reach of the buyer. There are many middlemen between the manufacturer and the final consumer. It is difficult to find the actual person responsible for altercations in quantity and quality. Also, the freshness and safety of the packed goods are unknown.
The legal metrology act ensures that the end consumer has all the relevant information about packaged goods such as expiry date, weight, price so that they can make buying decisions with clarity.
The basic provisions are applicable to all packaged goods. However, certain provisions apply to some goods only. For example, chapter 2 of the Act applies to packaged goods meant for retail sale. This chapter is not applicable to goods meant for institutional and industrial use directly from the manufacturer such as a company buying biscuits in bulk to distribute among employees.
Commodities that are more than 25kg or liters in weight (50 for fertilizers & cement) are exempt from retail laws. Many provisions apply or do not apply to different types of packaged goods as specified under the law.
The name of the manufacturing, packaging, or importing entity along with the address must be declared on packaged goods. In case the manufacturing and packaging entities are different, the names and addresses of both must be provided separately. The food products are exempt from this law as they fall under the provision of the Food Safety & Security Act.
Simply making declarations is not enough, you need to make them in the right manner. The act specifies various rules that mention how and where you should make all declarations depending on the shape and size of your product.
In addition to basic declarations, there are quantity declaration rules covering weight, volume, length, area & number. The act also specifies rules regarding how numbers and numerals should be written and declared. You must also keep in mind rules regarding labels and wholesale packaging.
Registration of manufacturers, packers, and importers with the State Controller of Legal Metrology or the Director of Legal Metrology is compulsory. Violation of which will lead to a fine of Rs. 4000. If standard units are not used for the declaration, there will be a fine of Rs.2000/- or 4000/- depending on the case.
Penalties may increase up to Rs.25,000/- for the first offense of non-declaration, Rs.50,000/- for second and can extend up to Rs.100,000 or imprisonment, or both for subsequent offenses. There are many other penalties listed under the act for various violations.
In the end, the Legal Metrology Act covering packaging goods is covered by a vast number of details and is complex. It is difficult for businesses dealing with packaging goods to operate in accordance with the act.
A legal metrology registration consultant has vast knowledge and experience. With the involvement in a wide number of cases, a consultant can help you with compliance and advice you through complex matters.
Unit sale price states the price (inclusive of all taxes) per unit of measurement as stated in Rule 6 sub-rule (11) of the Legal Metrology Packaged Commodities Amendment Rules, 2022.
“(11) The unit sale price in rupees, set out to the nearest two decimal places, shall be declared on every pre-packaged commodity in the following manner, namely:-
Stated that for packages commodity containing spirituous liquor or alcoholic beverages, the State Excise Laws and the rules made thereunder shall be applicable within the State in which it is manufactured. Stated that declaration of the unit sale price is not obligatory for the pre-packaged commodities in which retail sale price is equal to the unit sale price.”
The unit sale price shall be declared on the primary display panel of the pre-packaged commodity. It should be confirmed that the unit sale price is unambiguous, simply identifiable and legible to the consumer
For a pre-packaged commodity of Net Qty 200g and MRP including all taxes of ₹60, Unit Sale Price declaration can be specified as given hereinbelow:
For a pre-packaged commodity of Net Qty 5L and MRP inclusive of all taxes of ₹500, Unit Sale Price declaration can be specified as given hereinbelow:
As per Rule 6 and sub-rule 11, the Unit sale price is required to be indicated in rupees, rounded off to the adjacent two decimal places.
Illustration: as declared in response to question no. 2
The spacing condition under Rule 8 of the LMPC Rules, 2011 is not applicable for the Unit Sale Price declaration.
Option 1: The Font size for declaring the Unit Sale Price should be at least 50% of the font size of the MRP declaration. For Example, if the height of the numeral for MRP declaration is 4mm then the height of the numeral for Unit Sale Price declaration cannot be less than 2mm.
Unit sale price is not obligatory to be declared on a ‘Wholesale Package’ as stated in Rule 2(r) of LMPC Rules, 2011.
No, as per Rule 6 sub-rule 10 of the LMPC Rules, 2011, the e-commerce company is required to make sure obligatory declaration as declared in Rule 6 sub-rule 1. Accordingly, the unit sale price is not compulsory to be displayed on e-commerce websites.
No, the requirement of the Unit Sale Price declaration is only limited to product labels. Hence, the Unit Sale Price is not obligatory to be declared in advertisements.
As per the 2nd proviso to Rule 6 sub-rule (11) of unit sale price declaration is not required for the pre-packaged commodities where MRP or retail sale price is equal to the unit sale price.
Hence, pre-packaged commodities in which the net quantity/ length is one gram, one meter, one kilogram, one millilitre, one centimetre, one litre and one unit/number shall not be required to state the Unit Sale Price.
Yes, the Unit Sale Price needs to be declared, but the Unit Sale Price computation shall eliminate the additional volume/units/ quantity being offered for FREE.
An indicative label declaration is given below
CONTENTS:10 N (generic name of commodity) + 1 Free
MRP ₹ (incl. of all taxes):USP ₹ 400; ₹ 40.00 /1N + 1N Free
Net Qty:5 L + 1 L Free
MRP ₹ (incl. of all taxes):USP ₹ 1000; ₹ 200.00/ L + 1L Free
The Unit Sale Price is not needed to be declared on the inner package, however, the outer package must contain all declarations stated under the Rules along with the Unit Sale Price.
Yes, the Unit Sale Price is needed to be declared. Mostly, in such cases, the Unit Sale Price can be calculated by dividing the post-offer MRP (inclusive of all taxes) by the Net Quantity.
An indicative label declaration is given below.
CONTENTS:10N (generic name of a commodity)
MRP ₹ (incl. of all taxes):₹ 400 ₹ 360; ₹ 36.00 /1N
Yes, the Unit Sale Price is needed to be declared on the pack projected for sale, however, the Unit Sale Price computation shall eliminate the value of the product being offered for FREE. It is declared that there is no need of declaring the Unit Sale Price for a Free product.
An indicative label declaration is given below.
Net Qty:900 ml + 1 N (generic name of a commodity) Free MRP (incl. of all taxes).
USP ₹ 180 ₹ 0.20/ml + 1 N of (generic name of commodity) worth ₹ ___ Free
Pre-packaged commodities having a surface area of 100 square centimetres or less OR having MRP of ₹ 35 or less shall not be obligatory to declare Unit Sale Price.
In case of any queries please feel free to connect with our Legal Metrology Professionals. They have years of experience in providing end-to-end consulting services and also assist in obtaining Legal Metrology Registration.