Legal Metrology Act, 2009: Objectives, Applicability & Compliances

  • May 27, 2024
  • Dushyant Sharma
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In today’s time, the marketplace is quite complex. When it comes to weights, measures and packaging of goods, it is necessary to ensure fair trade practices and consumer protection. In India, this role is played by the Legal Metrology Act, 2009, which is a crucial legislation for establishing transparency, accuracy and uniformity in weights, measures and packaging of goods. 


In this article, we will discuss the Legal Metrology Act, 2009, including its objectives, applicability and compliances.

What is the Legal Metrology Act?

The Legal Metrology Act, 2009, is an act to establish and enforce standards of weights and measures, regulate trade and commerce in weights, measures and other goods which are sold or distributed by weight, measure or number and for matters connected/incidental to them. The Legal Metrology Act, 2009 replaced the Standards of Weights and Measures Act, 1976, and the Standard Weights and Measures (Enforcement) Act, 1985. The Act consists of 5 chapters and 57 Sections in total.

What is the Objective of Legal Metrology Act?

The Legal Metrology Act, 2009, came into force with the following objectives:

  • For the regulation of trade and commerce in weights and measures.
  • For setting and enforcing the weight and measure standards.
  • For the regulation of the manufacture, sale and use of goods by weights, measures or numbers.
  • For rationalizing the Metric system (meter, kilogram, etc.) to be used in India.

What is the Applicability of Legal Metrology Act? 

The provisions of the Legal Metrology Act, 2009, are applicable to the following:

  • An individual who uses any weight or measure in any transaction, industrial production or protection.
  • An individual who is any weight or measure’s manufacturer, retailer, wholesaler, trader or repairer.
  • An importer or packer of any item which is related to measure, weight and numbers.

Who are the Major Stakeholders under the Legal Metrology Act?

Let’s find out who are the major stakeholders under the Legal Metrology Act, 2009.


Chapter 1 of the Legal Metrology Act, 2009, defines a manufacturer as a person who:

“(i) manufactures weight or measure.

(ii) manufactures one or more parts, and acquires other parts, of such weight or measure and, after assembling those parts, claims the end product to be a weight or measure manufactured by himself or itself, as the case may be. 

(iii) does not manufacture any part of such weight or measure but assembles parts thereof manufactured by others and claims the end product to be a weight or measure manufactured by himself or itself, as the case may be.

(iv) puts, or causes to be put, his own mark on any complete weight or measure made or manufactured by any other person and claims such product to be a weight or measure made or manufactured by himself or itself, as the case may be.”


Dealer, as defined in Chapter 1 in the Legal Metrology Act, 2009, is a person who “carries on, directly or otherwise, the business of buying, selling, supplying or distributing any such weight or measure, whether for cash or for deferred payment or for commission, remuneration or other valuable consideration, and includes a commission agent, an importer, a manufacturer, who sells, supplies, distributes or otherwise delivers any weight or measure manufactured by him to any person other than a dealer.”


A packer is a person who pre-packs any commodity in any bottle, tin, wrapper or otherwise, in units suitable for sale whether wholesale or retail. 


Legal Metrology Act states that the repairer “means a person who repairs a weight or measure and includes a person who adjusts, cleans, lubricates or paints any weight or measure or renders any other service to such weight or measure to ensure that such weight or measure conforms to the standards established by or under this Act.”


An importer refers to an individual, firm or legal entity that brings goods, or causes goods to be brought from a foreign country into a customs territory.

What are the Legislations and Regulations under the Legal Metrology Act?

The Act contains the following legislations and provisions:

  • Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011
  • Legal Metrology (General) Rules, 2011
  • Legal Metrology (Approval of Models) Rules, 2011
  • Legal Metrology (National Standards) Rules, 2011
  • Legal Metrology (Numeration) Rules, 2011
  • Indian Institute of Legal Metrology Rules, 2011
  • Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011 

What are the Compliances under the Legal Metrology Act?

The Act mentions important compliances regarding the licensing, registration, mandatory declarations and so on.

Licensing of Manufacturers, Repairer and Dealers of Weights and Measures 

Any individual who is a manufacturer, repairer or dealer or weights and measures is required to acquire a license issued by the Controller of Legal Metrology. For this, an application must be filed along with the name, address of the premises, commodity’s name and the prescribed fee (which varies from state to state).

Registration of Manufacturers, Packers and Importers of Commodities

Any individual who is a manufacturer, packer or importer of commodities that deals in pre-packaging or import oy any commodity for sale, distribution or delivery is required to obtain a registration as per to the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011.  

Mandatory Declarations under the Act

The Legal Metrology Act, 2009, imposes an obligation of declarations for any pre-packaged commodity’s manufacture, packaging, sale, distribution, delivery, possession, etc.


The mandatory declarations are required to be put on the packages are as follows: 

  • The name and address of the manufacturer or packer or importer 
  • The common or generic name of the commodity
  • Country of Origin
  • The content’s net quantity
  • Year and month of manufacturing, packing or import
  • Best before or expiry date, month and year of a commodity
  • Retail sale price: MRP (inclusive of all taxes)
  • Size/dimension of the commodity (whenever relevant) 

The Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Amendment Rules, 2017 was specifically issued for e-commerce entities in the marketplace. According to these rules, the e-commerce companies have to mention the above mandatory declarations (similar to packaged commodities) on the digital or electronic platform which is used for e-commerce platforms.

Verification and Stamping of the Instruments

Any individual that uses any weight or measure or measuring instrument in any transaction has to get verification and stamping of weight and measure instruments. Without verification stamping, it is not allowed to sell or use any weight or measuring instruments. In case the weight or measure instrument cannot be moved from its location, it is verified and stamped at its location itself. For continuous use of weight and measure for any transaction, the re-verification is a mandatory obligation.

Use of Weights and Measures

Almost every entity uses standards of weights and measures, including Unit, Mass, Length, Area, Capacity, Temperature and Volume. It is necessary to utilize weight and measure in accordance with the standard unit of weight, measure, and numeration for the following activities:

  • For quoting or announcing the any price of products
  • For the issuance or exhibition of any price list, cash memo or invoices
  • For the publication of any advertisement
  • For the indication of the net quantity of pre-packaged commodity  

Import of Weight and Measure

It is mandatory for the importers to get registration for the import of weight and measure. Every importer is required to obtain registration at least one month prior to the proposed important date. If a weight or measure, whether singly or as a part or component of any machine, doesn’t conform to the weight and measure standards, it shall not be allowed to be imported.

Maintenance of Records and Registers

Proper records and registers of weight/measure shall be maintained by every manufacturer, dealer or repairer of weight or measure.

Approval of Model of Weight and Measure

Every individual must obtain prior approval of the model before manufacturing or importing any weight or measure. The application for the approval of model of weight or measure shall contain the applicant’s full name and address. In case the model is imported from another country, the name and address of the manufacturer along with the dealer in India must be mentioned. Additionally, a brief description of the weight or measure must also be stated, along with the possible uses for which the weight or measure is intended to be produced. Other details to be included in the application are the test procedure followed by the manufacturer, and the brand name and type of the weight or measure.


Submission of monthly or quarterly reports/returns of weight and measure to the controller of the legal metrology by every licensed dealer is mandatory. However, the timelines and reporting requirements differ from one state to another. 

What are the Penalties under the Legal Metrology Act?

Chapter V of the Legal Metrology Act, 2009, outlines the offenses and penalties for the offenders:

  • Section 27: It states that the manufacturing or sale of non-standard weights or measures is punishable by a fine of up to 20,000 rupees in case of first offense and imprisonment for up to 3 years in case of second or subsequent offense or with fine or both.
  • Section 36(1): This section of the Act allows for a punishment of up to 25,000 rupees for the first crime, a fine of up to 50,000 rupees for the second offense, and a fine of up to one lakh rupees for the third violation or with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year or with both.
  • Section 36(2): A penalty may be imposed if a pre-packaged item is produced, packed, or imported with an error in the net quantity. A fine of not less than 10,000 rupees nor exceeding 1 lakh rupees, a term of imprisonment not exceeding more than 1 year, or both may be the form of punishment.
  • Section 38: It imposes a fine on importers who fail to register their weights and measures. The offense has a maximum fine of 25,000 rupees. If the offense is committed again, the punishment may increase to six months in jail, a fine, or both.
  • Section 32: Failure to register in accordance with the rules or any other rule’s  violation entails a penalty for the commodity's manufacturer, packer, or importer.

Appeal under the Legal Metrology Act

According to Section 50 of the Legal Metrology Act, appeals may be filed to the next higher authority within sixty days from the date on which an officer of legal metrology issues an order or decision.


The main piece of legislation pertaining to legal metrology in India is the Legal Metrology Act of 2009. This act provides requirements for weights, measures and measuring instruments. It protects traders, consumers, and the environment and is especially focused on fair trade in India. It is predicated on the ability to monitor measurements and measurement instruments. It prevents unfair trade practices and establishes confidence among consumers, the government, businesspeople, and retailers. If you need assistance in obtaining Legal Metrology Certificate connect with Legal Metrology Consultants at Registrationwala.

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Dushyant Sharma
Author: Dushyant Sharma

Hey there, I'm Dushyant Sharma. With the extensive knowledge I've gained in past 8 years, I have been creating content on various subjects such as banking, insurance, telecom, and all the important registration and licensing processes for various companies. I'm here to help everyone with my expertise in these areas through my articles.

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