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Metrology is the scientific study of measurement. Legal metrology helps in providing standards for the control of measurements and measuring instruments. Legal metrology at the same time safeguards public safety, the environment, customers, and merchants, and it is essential for fair trade.
The sale or distribution of all packaged goods in India, such as export goods, food items, and consumer products, requires a Legal Metrology Certificate from the Metrology Department of Consumer Affairs, as per the Legal Metrology Act, 2009.
Due to the advancement of science & technology, there has been vast upgrading in weighing and measuring techniques which have extended the scope of weights & measures.
Objectives of legal metrology
This Act came into force with the following objectives:
- To regulate trade and commerce in weights and measurements.
- To set and enforce the standards of weights and measurements.
- To regulate the manufacturers, sale, and use of goods by weights, measure, or numbers.
- To rationalize the Metric system.
Functions of legal metrology
The transparent and efficient legal metrology inspires trade, industry, and consumers and brings a trustable environment to conduct business. The main functions of Legal Metrology are as follows:
- Protect consumers from unscrupulous traders.
- Provide regulation for the control of measurements and measuring instruments.
- Grant and renewal of licenses of manufacturers, repairers, and dealers of weights and measures.
- Verification and stamping of weighing and measuring instruments and collection of verification fees.
- Officials conduct surprise inspections, seizures, and raids to eliminate the illegal and non-standards weights and measures.
- It also implements the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011, which require all packaged commodities and containers to have declarations stating the composition of net weight, volume, length, maximum retail price, and manufacture/packaging date, among other things.
- Every year, all users of weights, measures, and measuring tools must have them certified. All manufacturers, repairers, and dealers of weight and measures are issued licenses by the Organization, which must be renewed annually.
Offenses and penalty
Anyone who violates regulations 27 to 31 is subject to a fine of four thousand rupees. If the breach is committed by a firm, each director or person in control will be held accountable separately.
It is important to note that all ‘pre-packed commodities’ must be registered under Rule 27. Despite the definition specified in the Legal Metrology Act 2009, there is some ambiguity in how the term is interpreted. Despite the fact that numerous High Courts and the Supreme Court have attempted to interpret the term in various Judicial Precedents, firms/entities continue to struggle to comply with the provisions of these Rules due to a lack of clarity.
Rules set under legal metrology act
Legal Metrology (General) Rules, 2011 – It covers about 40 different types of weighing and measuring devices, such as electronic weighing instruments, weighbridges, fuel pumps, water meters, sphygmomanometers, clinical thermometers, and so on. These weighing and measuring devices are checked on regular basis by State Government personnel using the Standard Weights and Measures and the process outlined in the Rules.
The Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011 – It regulates the pre-packed commodities in India and mandates certain labelling requirements prior to the commodity’s sale. Under this rule, some certain declarations has to be made on every package, which are as follows
- Name and address of the Manufacturer/ Packer/ Importer
- Country of origin in case of imported packages
- Common or generic name of the commodity contained in the package
- Net quantity, in terms of standard unit of weight or measure or number
- Month and year of manufacture/ pack/ import
- Retail sale price in the form of Maximum Retail Price (MRP) Rs… Inclusive of all taxes
- Consumer care details
The Legal Metrology (Approval of Models) Rules, 2011 – It’s a rule framed by the Central Government under the Legal Metrology Act 2009 to define the standard measures or numbers and how the pre-packed goods shall bear the affirmations and other particulars.
The Legal Metrology (National Standards) Rules, 2011 – It’s a ruled frame by the Central Government to define (i) the specifications of base units of measures and base unit of mass, (ii) different standards, and (iii) times of verification of the norms.
The Legal Metrology (Numeration) Rules, 2011 – This provision is made for making numeration and how numbers should be written.
Indian Institute of Legal Metrology Rules, 2011 – Indian Institute of Legal Metrology, Ranchi is the training institute for furnishing training in the area of Legal Metrology to the Legal Metrology Officers of States/ UTs/ Union of India, under the executive control of this department. Under these rules, provisions regarding Courses to be communicated at the Institute, Obligatory functions of the Institute, Qualifications of persons to be eligible for admission in the Institute are specified.
The Legal Metrology (Government Approved test Centre) Rules, 2013 – The Government Approved Test Centre (GATC) Rules govern the approval of GATCs created by private individuals for the verification of certain weights and measures by State Government Officers. The weights and measures specified under these rules with regard to the verification by a GATC are – Water meter, Sphygmomanometer, Clinical Thermometer, Automatic Rail Weighbridges, Tape Measures, Non-automatic weighing instrument of Accuracy Class-IIII/ Class-III (upto 150kg), Load cell, Beam Scale, Counter Machine, Weights of all Categories.
Legal metrology registration
Any person who deals with weighing and measuring instruments needs to register himself under legal metrology. It can be applied in 3 capacities which are as follows:
- Registration of Company – Any company that deals in manufacturing, importing, and packing weighs and measuring instruments are required to register under legal metrology.
- Registration of Importer –Any person who wants to export his weighing and measuring instrument or sell in the Indian market first requires a Certificate of Registration of Importer of weights and measuring instrument. Only standard packed commodities can be imported to India. It covers the registration of the Importer under the general rule, registration of the importer and packer (Packaging and warehouse registration), and registration of the company under legal metrology.
- Registration of Manufacturer, Importer, and Packers (Packaging and Warehouses) –For goods to be marketed in India, the particular company must get a packaging and warehouse registration or renewal for product labels that fall under the Legal Metrology Certification purview.
For products that pertain to weight & measurement like Weighing Machine fall under the category of weight & measurement, need to take 5 stage registrations from the LM department:
Model Approval- Packaged Commodity Registration- Import License- Dealership License-Stamping of products
Legal metrology licenses
A specific license is issued to the specific applicant depending upon the type of business deal with. Types of licenses are as follows.
- Manufacturer License: This type of license is required by manufacturers of weighing and measuring instruments. It authorizes the manufacturer to produce and sell the instruments, subject to compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
- Legal metrology Dealer License: A dealer license is issued to the person who deals in the trading and marketing of weights and measures, and it falls under the State Legal Metrology (Enforcement) Rules, 2011. In case any importer wants to act as the dealer of the weights and measures, he must obtain the dealer license in addition to the importer/manufacturer license
- Repairer License: This type of license is required by persons or entities who repair and maintain weighing and measuring instruments. It authorizes the repairer to perform repairs and maintenance on the instruments, subject to compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
- User License: This type of license is required by persons or entities who use weighing and measuring instruments in their business operations. It authorizes the user to use the instruments, subject to compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
- Verification Certificate: This is not a license per se, but a certificate issued by the metrology department after verifying the accuracy of the weighing and measuring instruments. It certifies that the instruments meet the required standards and can be used for commercial transactions.
Process for Manufacturer License
Apply in the format appended (LM-1)
- The application will first be available to the district nodal official, who will simply forward it to the appropriate Local Senior Inspector/Inspector (Legal Metrology Officer) based on the address of the firm’s location.
- The local Senior Inspector/Inspector will inspect the applicant’s proposed premises and the required documents to determine the applicant’s manufacturing capability and capacity and prepare a report and recommendation, which will be sent to the Controller (Licensing Authority) through Divisional Assistant Controllers.
- After reviewing the application, Local LMOs report, and documents, the Assistant Controllers will transmit it to the Controller along with their recommendations.
- If there is a serious flaw in the application, the Local Inspector, Asst. Controller or Controller may issue a query/objection, which will be apparent to the applicant, who must remove it.
- After reviewing the complete application and determining that it is suitable for granting a License, the Controller may ask the applicant to deposit the Rs. 500/- License fee in the appropriate HEAD OF ACCOUNTS.
- The license would be issued in the prescribed format after the fee was deposited and a copy was received in the Controller’s office.
- Repairer License – Repairer includes a person who cleans, lubricates, adjusts, or paints any weight or measure.
Documents required for repairer license?
- Photograph, Identity, and Address proof of the applicant
- Proof of the Date of Birth of the applicant
- Ownership or tenancy document of the proposed premises
- Partnership deed in case of partnership firms
- Document regarding the qualification, in the case of electronic weighing machines
- Experience certificate
- Affidavit to state that applicant would abide by the Legal provisions and the directions issued by the Controller
- Affidavit to state that applicant had neither been punished by any Court nor is any criminal proceeding pending in any Court.
- Registration document of shop/establishment/municipal trade license, as the case may be.
- List of Machinery and tools.
- Copy of PAN
How we can help businesses with legal metrology?
- Compliance: We can advise businesses on the applicable laws and regulations related to legal metrology and help them ensure compliance with those laws and regulations.
- License and permit applications: We can assist businesses in applying for the necessary licenses and permits related to legal metrology, such as manufacturer licenses, dealer licenses, repairer licenses, and user licenses.
- Dispute resolution: We can help businesses in resolving disputes related to legal metrology, such as disputes with customers over the accuracy of weighing and measuring instruments.
- Contract drafting and review: We can assist businesses in drafting and reviewing contracts related to legal metrology, such as contracts with manufacturers or dealers of weighing and measuring instruments.
- Training and education: We can provide training and education to businesses and their employees on the legal requirements related to legal metrology, including the use and verification of weighing and measuring instruments.