In today’s dynamic market, Legal Metrology Labelling holds significant importance in safeguarding consumer rights and ensuring fair trade practices. As an essential aspect of consumer protection, the concept of Legal Metrology, along with stringent labelling regulations, plays a pivotal role in maintaining transparency and reliability in commercial transactions.

What Are The Requirements For Product Legal Metrology Labelling And Packaging?

The above question may appear simple; however, the solution may not be so simple. To do this, you’ll need to understand the numerous rules that govern package labeling in India. For the sake of our users’ convenience, we have divided our response into the following paragraphs:

India’s Product Legal Metrology Labelling Regulations

The labelling requirements in India are complex, but through years of experience, our Legal Metrology consultants and professionals at ELT have effectively built a specialty in this consulting sector. The Legal Metrology Packaging Rules (LMPCR), 2011, are the major regulation in India that governs the legality of labelling information on Pre-Packed Commodities packaging. These laws apply to manufacturers, brand owners, importers, e-commerce companies, and packers.

According to Rule 4 of the LMPCR, “No person shall pre-pack or cause or permit to be pre-packed any commodity for sale, distribution, or delivery unless the package in which the commodity is pre-packed bears thereon, or on a Label is securely affixed thereto, such declarations as required to be made under these rules.”

Explanation. – The presence of packages within the manufacturer’s premises without the declaration of retail sale price shall not be construed as a violation of these rules, and it shall be ensured that all packages leaving the manufacturer’s premises for their destination shall have the declaration of retail sale price on them as required in this rule.”

Other Laws Affecting India’s Legal Metrology Labelling Regulations

The primary laws governing Legal Metrology labelling in India are the Legal Metrology Act, 2009, and the Legal Metrology Pre-Package Rules, 2011. Furthermore, several additional regulations impose additional labelling requirements for specific groups of items that may fall into the following categories:

  • Cosmetic Guidelines under drugs and cosmetics Act

  • Medical Equipment Labelling Under Medical Device Regulations, 2017

  • BIS Labelling Regulations

  • Food Labelling Regulations of the FSSAI

  • Eco Label under BIS Eco Mark Labelling Regulations

  • Use of ISO logo as specified by respective ISO Standards

  • E-Waste Mark E-Waste Management Rules,2016

  • Industry Certifications for Wool Mark

  • Labelling for organic Food and Certification Regulations

  • BIS Hallmarking Regulations for Jewellery

  • Any other marks that are not covered here but are relevant to the client’s industry.

Because there are so many labeling rules, it is both common and difficult for any industry to adhere to all of them. Putting together a product with a wide range of labelling requirements necessitates the use of a wide range of expertise. Food labelling, for example, may necessitate the involvement of Legal Metrology and Food Technology experts. ELT understands industry needs and has assembled a team of experts from various industries to provide a comprehensive solution for the client. If you need help with labelling, you can contact our labelling experts.

What Declarations Must Be Made In The Case Of Packaged Commodities Legal Metrology Labelling?

By the provisions of LMPCR, every package shall bear the following declarations on it or a label securely affixed to it:

Name and address of the manufacturer, or if the manufacturer is not also the packer, the names and addresses of the manufacturer and packer, and in the case of imported products, the name and address of the importer. Country of origin or manufacturer or assembly in the case of imported products.

The common or generic name of the commodity/s so packed, as well as the name and number or quantity of each product, shall be mentioned on the package.

If the packed commodity is sold by number, the number of such commodities contained in the package must be specified.

The package must include the month and year in which the commodity was manufactured, pre-packed, or imported. However, as of April 1, 2022, the requirement of mentioning “month & year of imports” in the case of imported items has been replaced by “month-end year of manufacture.”

If a package contains a commodity that may become unfit for human consumption after a certain period of time, the label must state “best before” or “use by the date, month, and year.”
Mentioning the MRP, which should be conclusive of all taxes and clearly indicating that the MRP is in Indian Rupees.

When The Concept Of Mentioning MRP Was Introduced?

The concept of mentioning dual MRP was introduced on April 1, 2022, wherein if the quantity is more than one in number or in other prescribed units of measurement, then MRP per number must be mentioned. For example, a package of 10 baby diapers has an MRP of Rs. 100 now that the MRP of per number of baby diapers has been amended, i.e., Rs. 10 must be mentioned separately.

According to Rule 14, when a package contains commodities such as bed-sheets, hemmed fabric materials, dhoties, sarees, napkins, pillow-covers, towels, table cloths, or similar other commodities, the number and finished size of such commodities must be declared on the package or on the label affixed to it.

Declarations on the dimensions of container-type commodities – The commodities shall be expressed as bags, boxes, cups, pans, or the like designed and sold in retail trade for use as containers for other materials or objects, and shall be labelled with the quantity declaration required by LMPCR.

Commodities that have a relationship with dimensions and weight, or a combination thereof, must include a declaration of quantity on the package containing such commodity.

Aside from the rules prescribed by the LMPCR, there are many other labelling rules prescribed by other regulatory laws, such as FSSAI’s Food Labelling Rules, Medical Device Labelling Rules, FDA Labelling Rules, Cosmetic Labelling Rules, Drug Labelling Rules, and BIS Labelling Rules. Because the labelling rules are quite technical in nature, users are advised to carefully read the LMPCR and other labelling rules before implementing the labelling rules in their businesses.

Who Are The Exceptions To The Legal Metrology Labelling Rules?

The following are exempted from the Legal Metrology Packaged Commodities Rules, 2011:

“Industrial consumer” means a consumer who purchases packaged commodities directly from the manufacturer, an importer, or a wholesale dealer for use by that industry, and the package must bear the statement “not for retail sale.”

“Institutional consumer” refers to an institution that hires or uses facilities or services in connection with transportation, a hotel, a hospital, or another organisation that purchases packaged commodities directly from the manufacturer, an importer, or a wholesale dealer for use by the institution, with the package bearing the declaration “not for retail sale.”

“Thus, according to the Legal Metrology Packaged Commodities Rules, 2011, a person seeking exemption from the packaged commodities rules must be an industrial customer / buyer who purchased the packaged commodity directly from the manufacturer in bulk, and the packaged commodity must not be for retail sale, but for the industrial customer’s own use. Similarly, institutional consumers who purchase packaged commodities directly from the manufacturer, importer, or wholesale dealer for use by the institution itself and not for further retail sale.”

What Are The Food Legal Metrology Labelling Regulations? Is It Necessary To Have Food Labels Approved?

The government has made stringent provisions for food product labelling, which is a highly sensitive issue. The LMPCR, 2011, is India’s primary law governing the labelling of PrePacked Commodities manufactured by a variety of industries. However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has enacted additional laws governing food labelling and packaging:

Regulations on Food Safety and Standards (Advertising and Claims): Exaggerated claims made by manufacturers on their products, such as balanced diet, dietary fibre, fat, equivalence claims, health claims, nutrition claims, recommended dietary allowances, 100 percent organic food, sugar free, no additives, and soon, are addressed by these rules. Under these regulations, the food business operator or marketer must obtain prior approval from the Food Authority through the prescribed procedure for claim approval.

Regulations on Food Safety and Standards (Packaging) for 2018: Food packaging quality in terms of food grade, multi-layer / composite packaging, total migration limit of non-volatile substance release from packaging material, primary food packaging, secondary food packaging, and so on are all covered by these laws. Furthermore, the use of tin cans, glass bottles, and plastic containers was required in certain types of food.

Who Controls The Labelling Of Packaged Foods? Is Labelling Regulated By The FDA?

Furthermore, the use of newspapers or any other similar material for food storage and packing is prohibited. Under these laws, every food company operator must obtain a certificate of conformity from a NABL Accredited Laboratory for the packaging material they use.

The Food Safety and Standards (Labeling and Display) Regulations, 2018, govern how food is labelled and displayed. These regulations outlined the labelling requirements for pre-packaged foods, as well as the requirements for vital information to be displayed on facilities where food is made, processed, served, and stored.

Under these rules, the government regulates food business operators in a variety of areas, including multi-unit packaging, non-vegetarian food, recommended dietary allowances, e-Commerce of food items, food for catering purposes, and so on. ELT’s Food Labeling Consultants and Experts assist users in producing appropriate labelling and avoiding issues with government enforcement authorities.

How Can You Ensure That Your Product Is Labelled Correctly?

As previously stated, numerous rules govern package labelling standards in India, making it difficult for the average person to determine whether the labelling on their goods is accurate and lawful. You have two options for ensuring that the labelling on your product is correct:

To thoroughly examine all of the rules governing your product labelling and make any necessary changes on your own.
To enlist the assistance of product labelling experts and rely solely on their advice.

Penalties For Incorrect Labelling

The various Labelling Laws in India impose severe penalties, including imprisonment. Many non-governmental organisations in India are working to combat incorrect product labelling because it directly affects consumer concerns.

The Advertisement Council of India, for example, is an independent body that frequently issues legal notices to advertisers who make exaggerated claims about their products, such as “100% clear skin in 10 days.” In such cases, the brand owner may demand that all products be recalled from the market immediately, as well as severe penalties and punishments. Violations of the Legal Metrology Labelling Rules are considered criminal offences, and repeat offences may result in the offender being charged with imprisonment.