Transitional issues pursuant to amendments in Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011 effective April 1, 2022

by | Mar 24, 2022 | Outlook

We apprised on key amendments brought in by Notification No. GSR 779(E) dated November 2, 2021 which amended the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011 (‘LMPC Rules’). These amendments will come into force effective April 1, 2022.

We discussed intricacies of each amendment and vide this Outlook, we are highlighting several transitional issues and way-forward in this regard (both for domestic and imported packages) which so far, the Government has not addressed.

Domestic packages

Relevant legal provisions

  • No person shall pre-pack / cause / permit to be pre-packed any commodity for sale / distribution / delivery unless such package / label affixed on package bears prescribed declarations [Rule 4 of the LMPC Rules]
  • No dealer / importer shall sell / distribute / deliver / display / store for sale any packaged commodity unless it complies with Legal Metrology Laws [Rule 18 of the LMPC Rules]
  • From a conjoint reading of above, onus to put declarations on pre-packed goods lies on person who pre-packs / causes / permits pre-packing of goods.  Further, dealer / importer has to ensure that such packaged commodities are compliant with Legal Metrology Laws. Accordingly, labelling requirements have to be complied with, at the time of packing.
  • Pertinent to highlight that when The Standards of Weights and Measures (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 1977 (‘SWM Rules’) were amended vide Notification No. 425(E) dated July 17, 2006, Circular No. WM-10(8)/2005 dated July 5, 2007 was issued to provide guidelines for dealing with transition. It was clarified that goods manufactured / imported / packed prior to enforcement of said Notification, are exempt from amended labelling requirements.
  • Basis above, we have laid down different transitional scenarios and status of applicability of amended LMPC Rules thereupon.
Date of pre-packing Scenario on or after April 1, 2022 Applicability of amended LMPC Rules
Till March 31, 2022 Lying in manufacturer’s / packer’s premises No
Lying in dealer’s premises
In transit from manufacturer / packer to dealer
In transit from one dealer to another / end consumer
On or after April 1, 2022   Yes

Imported packages

Relevant legal provisions

  • To ensure that imported packages contain declarations provided in the LMPC Rules, DGFT issued Notification No. 44 (RE-2000)/1997-2002 dated November 24, 2000. This Notification provides that all packages when produced / packed / sold in domestic market, needs to comply with the SWM Rules (now the LMPC Rules), when imported into India. Note No. 5 of General Notes regarding Import Policy, 2017[1] also provides the same. Hence, compliance of these Rules needs to be ensured before import consignment is cleared for home consumption.
  • Pursuant to same, Circular No. 19/2011-Customs dated April 15, 2011 clarified that declarations on imported packages can also be done at customs bonded warehouse.
  • Basis above, we have laid down different transitional scenarios and status of applicability of amended LMPC Rules thereupon.
Date of labelling Scenario on or after April 1, 2022 Applicability of amended LMPC Rules
Till March 31, 2022 Cleared for home consumption Yes
On or after April 1, 2022 Cleared for home consumption Yes

NITYA Comments: Legal Metrology Laws endeavour to convey relevant product information to consumers for protecting their interest. At same time, it puts onus on manufacturer / packer / importer to mention correct declarations on packages. Amendments in the LMPC Rules will entail additional costs for manufacturer / packer / importer as existing stock of packing material / labels will get wasted and new packing material / labels needs to be designed. In past, the Government issued suitable advisories / guidelines to help industry deal with such transition. In absence of any relaxation this time, Industry needs to comply with amended LMPC Rules effective April 1, 2022 for goods packed / cleared for home consumption post such date.

Our Associate, Simran Arora has also given her insights on subject matter in a short video.

Hope you find this an interesting read! Please feel free to share your comments / feedback.

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