Legal Metrology Act – What you need to know.
Legal Metrology Act, also known as Packaged Commodity Rules has been implemented 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 weights, measure or number and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto”.
The act was implemented on 1st April 2011 but even today this area is niche. Many dealers are not aware of its rules and penal provisions.
Applicable to —
Legal metrology is applicable to any commodity in packaged form, means a person who, or a
firm which, carries on directly or otherwise, the business of buying, selling, supplying or distributing any such commodity whether for cash or for deferred payment or for commission, remuneration or other valuable consideration, and includes a commission agent who carries on such business on behalf of any principal, but does not include a manufacturer who manufactures any commodity which is sold or distributed in a packaged form except where such commodity is sold by such manufacturer to any other person other than a dealer.
There are exceptions as well.
Not Applicable to —
The act is not applicable to industrial consumer and institutional consumer.
“industrial consumer” is the consumer who buys packaged commodities directly from the manufacturer or from an importer or from wholesale dealer for use that industry and the package shall have declaration ‘not for retail sale’; and
“institutional consumer” is the institution who hires or avails of the facilities or services in connection with transport, hotel, hospital or other organization which buy packaged commodities directly from the manufacturer or from an importer or from wholesale dealer for use by that institution, and the package shall have declaration ‘not for retail sale’;
As pe the legal metrology act, a dealer needs to affix a label on the product containing the various details such as name of the product, description of the product, month & year of manufacturing, country of origin, quantity, MRP, Expiry date, name and address of importer, contact detail for consumer complaints etc.
Further, all the above details needs to be specified in label very accurately. The law also provides the size of the font and spacing between the letters for each declaration in the label. Therefore, one has to be very careful while mentioning the details in label as all the declaration should be as per the provisions of law or it is an offence under the law.
Every declaration required to be made under these rules shall appear on the principal display panel.
The assessing officer under the act has powers to enter at any reasonable time to any such premises and search for inspect any weight, measure or other goods In relation to which trade and commerce has taken place. Further, the officer can seize the goods if he has any reason that may furnish evidence indicating that an offence punishable under the act has been or is likely to be committed in the course of business.
The offences shall be punished with a fine which may extend to Rs. 25,000 and for a subsequent offence with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year/three years or fine or with both. The penalty under the act is applicable to the company and each director of the company if the nomination has not been obtained.
Therefore, it is always advisable to a dealer to obtain the nomination certificate along with the Legal Metrology Registration. Nomination certificate helps to restrict the penalty only to the nominee and not each director of the company.
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