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Are you in Compliance with the Provisions of the Legal Metrology Act, 2009?

September 21, 2022

The Legal Metrology Act, 2009 (“Act”) was established to enforce standards for weights and measures, and regulate trade and commerce in weights, measures, and other goods which are sold or distributed by weight, measure, or a number and for matters connected therewith. The Act came into force on 01st March 2011 and has effectively superseded/replaced the Standards of Weights and Measures Act, 1976 and the Standards of Weights and Measures (Enforcement) Act, 1985.

It has been observed that in recent times, the authorities are frequently raising objections/concerns against importers/manufacturers on account of default / non-compliance with the provisions of the Act. In light of the same, it is now of utmost importance that businesses keep into consideration their compliance with the Act and thereby, avoid any unwarranted legal consequences arising out of its non-compliance.

Who falls under the purview of this Act?

The Act applies to any person that uses any weight or measure in any transaction, industrial production, or protection, and also to manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers, dealers, repairers of any weight or measure, importers, and/or packers of any weight, measure, or number-related item.

What are the compliances under the Act?

  • Approvals: Any person (as defined under Section 2(m) of the Act) intending to manufacture or import any weight or measure needs to register with the concerned Director and also, obtain approval of the model of weight or measure from its competent authority at least one (1) month prior to such manufacturing / importing of products.
  • Licensing Requirements: Every manufacturer, repairer, or dealer of weights and measures needs to obtain a license from the respective Controller of Legal Metrology. For this purpose, an application under Rule 11(1) of the Legal Metrology (General) Rules, 2011 is required to be filed with the Controller, which may vary as per the category of the person.
  • 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 (Packed Commodities) Rules, 2011.
  • Mandatory Declarations: The Act mandates certain declarations to be made on every package or pre-packaged commodities intended for a commercial purpose in India, such as:
    1. Name and address of the manufacturer or packer or importer;
    2. Country of origin;
    3. Common or generic name of the commodity;
    4. Net quantity of the commodities;
    5. The retail sale price of the commodity, i.e., MRP (including all taxes);
    6. Month and year of manufacture, packing, or import, along with expiry date, month, and year of the commodity;
    7. Size/dimension of the commodity when relevant.
  • Verification and Stamping: Every person using/intending to use any weight or measure or measuring instrument is required to verify the weight or measure instrument from the Controller at the government-approved test center as notified by the Central or State Government, prior to its use.

What Steps can be taken to procure Registration as an Importer?

As highlighted above, every manufacturer or dealer of weight or measure wishing to import any weight or measure needs to obtain prior approval of the model of that weight or measure by filing an application to the Director of Legal Metrology in the form specified under Legal Metrology (General) Rules, 2011. The registration of a person as an importer shall remain effective for a period of five (5) years from the date of registration, on expiry of which the registration may be renewed for a like period on payment of a prescribed fee.

What penalties can be imposed on non-compliance with the Act?

Penalties/fines arising out of non-compliance with the Act have been provided under Sections 25 to 47 of the Act which lays down fines as well as imprisonment in the event of default under the Act. Some of the key penalties levied under the Act are provided hereinbelow:

  1. Non-Standard weight or measure: Penalty up to INR 25,000/- and imprisonment up to 6 months for a subsequent offense.
  2. Manufacture / Sale of non-standard weight or measure: Penalty up to INR 25,000/- and imprisonment up to 3 years for repeated offense.
  3. Selling of non-standard packages: Penalty up to INR 50,000/- which can be extended to INR. 1 Lakh, or imprisonment up to 1 year for subsequent offenses.
  4. Non-registration of Importer of weight and measure: Penalty up to INR 25,000/-, and imprisonment up to 6 months for repeated subsequent and repeated offenses.
  5. Manufacture of weight and measure without a license: Penalty up to INR 25,000/- and imprisonment up to 1 year for subsequent offenses.

MBG has a comprehensive program to assist you….

MBG provides holistic and comprehensive advisory, legal, and secretarial services to its clients, and through its vast expertise in the field handles all forms of services relating to the Legal Metrology Act, 2009, which comprises of:

  • Company registration with the Legal Metrology Department;
  • Obtaining requisite licenses from the Controller of Legal Metrology for persons falling under the category of a manufacturer, repairer, or dealer;
  • Providing advisory services on weights and measures, declarations, and particulars, to be mentioned on pre-packaged commodities;
  • Obtaining approvals of weights and measures model before manufacturing or importing;
  • Verification and stamping of weights or measures at the government-approved test centers;
  • Maintaining records and registers as required under the Act and performing compliance audits;
  • Representations before concerned authorities / legal forums through the dedicated legal team.

Last updated: 21/09/2022

Article contributed by:

Syed Arsalan Ahmed

Associate - Legal

MBG Corporate Services


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