Enforcement of Weights and Measures and Standards is entrusted with the Directorate of Legal Metrology in each state in India, and almost every business is impacted by the Laws of Legal Metrology being involved in sale, distribution or any transaction of goods by weight, measure or number.
The recent changes in Legal Metrology provisions may impact to the direct selling entities, market place E-commerce entities. As every Indian is Consumer whether they are purchasing food, clothes, fuel, and other utility products, there should be trust that businesses are measuring their products and services accurately.
With respect to provide uniform standards of weights and measures, the Legal Metrology Act, 2009 enforced in India. The Act was implemented with effect from 1st April, 2011.
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 objects of ensuring public guarantee from the point of view of security and accuracy of the weighments and measurements [Section2(g)]
The Act came into force with the following objectives:
- To regulate trade and commerce in weights and measures
- To set and enforce the standards of weight and measure
- To regulate the manufacture, sale and use of goods by weights, measures or numbers
- To rationalize the Metric system (meter, kilogram etc.) to be used in India
The provisions of Legal metrology applies to:
- Persons who are using any weight or measure in any transaction or Industrial Production or Protection
- Manufacturer, Retailer, Wholesaler, trader, Repairer of any weight or measure, Importer and/or Packer of any item related to weight, measure and numbers.
The Major Stakeholders under the Legal Metrology Act are defined as :
- Manufacturer: A person who manufactures weight or measure, any commodity in packaged form, 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
- Dealer: A person who, carries on, directly or otherwise, the business of buying, selling, supplying or distributing any weight or measure for a valuable consideration
- Packer: A person / Firm, who which pre-packs any commodity in any bottle, tin, wrapper or otherwise, in units suitable for sale whether wholesale or retail
- Importer: Any individual, firm or legal entity that brings goods, or causes goods to be brought from a foreign country into a customs territory
- Repairer: A person who repairs a weight or measure and includes a person who adjusts, cleans, lubricates or paints any weight or measure or renders any other service to such weight or measure to ensure such weight or measure conforms to the standards established by or under Legal Metrology Act
- Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011
- Legal Metrology (General) Rules, 2011
- Legal Metrology (Approval of Models) Rules, 2011
- Legal Metrology (National Standards) Rules, 2011
- Legal Metrology (Numeration) Rules, 2011
- Indian Institute of Legal Metrology Rules, 2011
- Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011
Licensing of Manufacturer, Repairer and Dealer of Weights and Measures
- Every Manufacturer, Repairer or Dealer of weights and measures is required to obtain a license issued by Controller of Legal Metrology
- An application is required to be filed along with name, address of premises, name of commodity and requisite fee which may vary state to state.
Registration by Manufacturer, Packer or Importer of commodities
Every Manufacturer, Packer or Importer of commodities who pre-packs or imports any commodity for sale, distribution or delivery is required to obtain a registration under the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011.
Legal Metrology Act Imposes an obligation of declarations to manufacture, pack, sell, import, distribute, deliver, offer, expose or possess for sale any pre packaged commodity in standard quantities or number. Mandatory declaration to be made on every package or pre-packaged commodities intended to be commercialized in India.
The following declarations are mandatory to put on the packages:
- The name and address of the manufacturer or packer or importer
- The common or generic name of the commodity
- Country of Origin
- The net quantity of the content
- Month and year of manufacturer or packing or import
- Best before or expiry date, month and year’ of a commodity
- Retail sale price: MRP (including all taxes)
- Size/dimension of the commodity when relevant
The Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Amendment Rules, 2017 issued especially for market place E-Commerce entities. E-commerce companies have to mention above declarations (similar to packaged commodities) on the digital or electronic platform mainly used for e-commerce platforms.
Verification and Stamping
- Every Person using any weight or measure or measuring instrument in any transaction have to get verification and stamping of weight and measure instruments
- Sale or use of any weigh or measuring instrument is not allowed without verification and stamping
- The weight & measure which cannot be moved from its location is verified & stamped at its location itself
- Re-verification is mandatory obligation for continuous use of weight and measure for any transaction
Use of Weight and measure
Almost every entity whether in business or services use standards of weights and measure, which may include Unit, Mass, Length, Area, Capacity, Temperature and Volume. Use of weight and measure in accordance with standard unit of weight, measure and numeration is mandatory for the following activities
- Quote or announce any price of products
- Issue or exhibit any price list, cash memo or invoices
- Publish any advertisement
- Indicating net quantity of pre-packaged commodity
Import of Weight and Measure
- Registration for Importer of weight and measure is Mandatory
- Every Person have to obtain registration at least one month prior from the proposed import date
- No weight or measure, whether singly or as a part or component of any machine shall be imported unless it conforms to the standards of weight or measure.
Maintain Registers and Records
Every Manufacturer, Repairer or Dealer of weight or measure shall maintain proper records and registers of Weight and Measure.
Approval of Model of Weight and Measure
Every Person, before manufacturing or importing any weight or measure shall obtain prior approval of model of that weight or measure. Application for Approval of Model of Weight or Measure shall contain following details
- Full name and address of the applicant
- Where the model is imported from other countries, the name and address of the manufacturer along with the dealer in India
- A brief description of the weight or measure
- Possible uses for which the weight or measure is intended to be produced
- Test procedure followed by the manufacturer
- Brand name and type of the weight or measure
Every Licensed Dealer is required to submit monthly or quarterly reports/returns of weight and measure to the legal metrology controller. However timelines and reporting requirements may vary from state to state.
Every Person using any weight or measure in any transaction or for protection shall present the weight or measure for verification at following places:
- at the office of the legal metrology officer of the State of manufacture State of import or at the place of installation
- re-verification and stamping shall be done at periodical intervals by the legal metrology officer in the State in which the weight or measure is put to use.
- Re-verification of Weights or measures is not required which are used by the industries for their internal use and don’t affect the quantity delivered to the consumer
- Declarations required on every Web Portals
- If a package contains a commodity, ‘Best before’ or Use by Date, Month and Year shall be prominently displayed.