Legal Metrology

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1. Requirement for Standard Packaging

Section-18 (1) 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 such declarations and particulars in such manner as may be prescribed.

Besides even the advertisement for the pre packed commodity shall contain the following requirements under section 18(2) I such manner as may be prescribed

  1. Retail sale price
  2. Net quantity or
  3. Number of commodity contained in the package

2. Declaration to be made in the Label

According to Rule 6 the label should contain the following declaration

  1. the name and address of the manufacturer.
  2. Where the manufacturer is not the packer, the name and address of the manufacturer and packer and for any imported package the name and address of the importer shall be mentioned on every package.

Explanation I.- If any name and address of a company is mentioned on the label without any qualifying words 'manufactured by' or 'packed by', it shall be presumed that such name and address shall be that of the manufacturer and the liability shall be determined accordingly;

Explanation II. - If the brand name and address of the brand owner appear on the label as a marketer, then the brand owner shall be held responsible for any violation of these rules and action as may be required shall be initiated against the deemed manufacturer and in the event of more than one name and address appearing in the label, prosecution shall be launched against the manufacturer indicated on the label in the first place and not against all of them.

  1. The common or generic names of the commodity contained in the package
  2. In case of packages with more than one product, the name and number or quantity of each product shall be mentioned on the package.
  3. The net quantity, in terms of the standard unit of weight or measure, of the commodity contained in the package
  4. Where the commodity is packed or sold by number, the number of the commodity contained in the package shall be mentioned.
  5. The month and year in which the commodity is manufactured or re-packed or imported shall be mentioned in the package. With effect from 1.7.2012 a rubber stamp cannot be used to declare date of packing or date of manufacture.
  6. The retail sale price of the package to be declared as “MRP Rs……… incl. of all taxes”. After taking into account the fraction of less than fifty paisa to be rounded off to the proceeding rupee and fraction of above 50 paisa and up to 90 paisa to be rounded off to fifty paisa
  7. The name, address, telephone number, E-mail address if available, of the person who can be or the office which can be, contacted, in case of consumer complaints.

The above declarations are mandatory on every retail package intended for retail sale. All the declarations shall be made either on the container or on a label securely affixed thereto.

The word “label” has been defined as “label” means any written; marked, stamped, printed or graphic matter affixed to or appearing upon any commodity or package containing any commodity. Stickers are strictly prohibited.

The word “sticker” has not been defined. It would be safe to take it as anything pasted on the label.

Provided that for reducing the Maximum Retail Price (MRP), a sticker with the revised lower MRP (inclusive of all taxes) may be affixed and the same shall not cover the MRP.

It must be noted that if we choose to affix a label on the package for making declarations, all the declarations must be made on the same label though some declarations are already preprinted on the package. Nothing should be pasted on the label where the declarations are made and nobody should be allowed to tamper with the declarations. It must be ensured that the declarations once made are not changed under any circumstances. Part declarations on package and part on the label is prohibited by the law.

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Opinion on legal metrology relating to packaging of products and labeling