Legal Metrology’s role in ensuring Consumer Protection in India

  • April 19, 2024
  • Dushyant Sharma
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The Legal Metrology Act, 2009 helps to regulate the import, sale, and distribution of pre-packaged commodities in India. Legal metrology plays a vital role in ensuring consumer protection and fair trade practices related to such products. In this article, we will discuss the role of legal metrology in ensuring consumer protection.

What is meant by Legal Metrology?

Simply put, legal metrology is a branch metrology which deals with the regulation and enforcement of the laws and regulations pertaining to measurements, measuring instruments and measurement systems. It helps to confirm the accuracy in the measurements of goods and services which are sold in the market. To ensure the practices of legal metrology are taken seriously, the Legal Metrology Act, 2009 was enacted.

If you’re curious about what metrology is, it is a name given to the scientific study of measurement. Under the legal metrology, there are standards offered for the regulation of measures and measuring tools. These standards play an important role in ensuring  ethical business practices and protecting the consumers, retailers and the environment.


All the manufacturers, producers and importers of packaged goods which are sold or distributed in our country, including export goods, food items, and consumer products are required to have a Legal Metrology Certificate/LPMC Certificate issued by the Metrology Department of Consumer Affairs. The LPMC certificate is mandatory for the manufacturers, packers and importers to be in compliance with the Legal Metrology Act, 2009.

Regulations and Rules under Legal Metrology Act, 2009

Legal Metrology (General) Rules 2011

These rules include information on approximately 40 different types of scales and measuring tools which include the fuel pumps, clinical thermometers, water meters, electronic scales, weighbridges and sphygmomanometers. Regular examination is conducted by the state government employees for the weighing and measuring devices using the standard weights and measures. The process for such examination is in accordance with the 2011 Legal Metrology (General) Rules 2011.

Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) 2011

These rules govern the pre-packaged goods in India. Before the product is up for sale in the market, a certain labeling criteria is imposed by these rules. To comply with these rules, every package is required to contain specific declarations which have been mentioned in the pointers below:

  • Name and address of the Packer / Manufacturer / Importer.
  • In case a package is imported, the country of origin must be mentioned.
  • The common or generic name of the commodity must be mentioned on the package.
  • Net quantity must be mentioned in terms of a regular unit of weight, size or number.
  • Month and Year of Import, Manufacture and Packaging.
  • The MRP in Rs. must be mentioned and should be inclusive of all taxes.
  • Customer care service details must be mentioned on the package.

Legal Metrology (Approval of Models) Rules 2011

According to these rules, the pre-packaged products shall include affirmations and additional information, apart from the standard measures and figures. These rules govern the issuance of approval by the central government for the manufacture of weight and measure instruments for regulating approved and uniform usage of such instruments in the market. This initiative helps to prevent usage of faulty and un-authorized instruments. These rules enable desirable laboratories to get recognition for carrying out specific tests for approval of models of any instrument related to weight and measure.

Legal Metrology (Numeration Rules) 2011

These rules specify the numerical markings of the applicable weights and measurement instruments. 

The Indian Institute of Legal Metrology Rules, 2011

The Indian Institute of Legal Metrology located in Ranchi serves as a training facility for legal metrology officers employed by Indian states, UTs and the central government.  These rules outline the provisions about various courses to be transmitted at the institute, the institute's obligatory functions and qualifications of persons for the eligibility for the admission to this institute.

Legal Metrology (Govt. Approved Test Centre) Rules, 2013

These rules govern the approval of Government Approved Test Centres (GATCs) which are established by private companies for the verification of specific weights and measures by the State Government Officers.

The weights and measures prescribed under these rules for the verification by a GATC are mentioned below:

  • Water meter
  • Sphygmomanometer
  • Tape Measures
  • Load cell
  • Counter Machine
  • Weights of all Categories
  • Beam Scale
  • Clinical Thermometer
  • Automatic Rail Weighbridges
  • Non-automatic weighing instruments which fall under Accuracy Class-III or Class-III (up to 150kg).

Legal Metrology’s Role in Protecting the Consumers

Legal metrology deals with the statutory and regulatory issues pertaining to the measurements and measuring tools. This branch of metrology plays a vital role in ensuring consumer protection in the following ways:

Preciseness in the Measurements

When we talk about trade and commerce, one of the key elements is the ability to make precise measurements. These measurements are the basis for the fair trade procedures are they ensure that the consumers get what they paid their money for. Legal metrology plays an inevitable role in controlling and upholding the standards for the measurements and measuring tools.

 

Let’s try to understand this through an example. When you go to the grocery store to buy 1 kg black tea, how do you know that the seller gives you exactly 1 kg of black tea, and not a quantity which is less than that, such as 800 grams? It is your right to receive the exact quantity that you paid for, and legal metrology helps to ensure just that. The scales which are used when purchasing things by weight or volume must provide an accurate reading, and for this, the legal metrology department does regular checks and takes initiatives for the adjustments for such measuring tools. Due to this, consumers are prevented from receiving inferior products as a result of incorrect measurements.

Makes Sure Measuring Equipment Is Safe

Legal metrology helps to ensure the safety of an individual when he uses measuring equipment. Imagine an individual is sick, and he checks his temperature with a faulty thermometer. Just due to that faulty thermometer, there could be a wrong diagnosis done due to which wrong therapy would be provided which could be endangering his health. But legal metrology helps to prevent such incidents from taking place. It ensures that the measuring instruments employed in trade, healthcare, etc. are in accordance with the safety standards. These instruments are examined on a regular basis and then declared whether they are safe for usage. Only after there's a surety regarding the safety of these instruments can they be sold in the market. Due to legal metrology, users are assured that the equipment which they rely on are secure and accurate.

Ensures Consumers get the Exact Quantity

Legal metrology ensures that consumers receive the correct quantity or weights of the goods purchased by them. All goods which are sold in the market have to be sold by weight and volume as per the legal metrology standards in India. It is necessary for all the manufacturers in India to receive legal metrology packaging registration certificate which is provided by the Legal Metrology Department for all the weighing and measuring instruments.This helps to assure that customers get what they paid for and prevents them from getting cheated by dishonest traders and manufacturers.

Consumers are Provided with Correct Information

There are two pillars upon which consumer protection is built i.e., transparency and accuracy in information. As per the legal metrology rules, the manufacturers and packers are required to provide consumers with accurate information which can be easily understood. A general customer must be able to understand the unit of measurement and the calculating process. Due to the correct information on the weight and volume of a product, consumers can make wise decisions and they are protected against deceptive, fraudulent or unethical business practices.

Verification of the Pre-Packaged Commodities

Legal metrology makes sure that the contents of pre-packaged commodities match the weight and volume mentioned on the packaging. The legal metrology departments conduct regular inspections and compare the reported weight or volume with the actual substance. This protects the consumers from being victims of dishonest business practices. The manufacturers are required to be extra careful while manufacturing their products, so they don’t make any mistakes which can lead to legal repercussions.

Conclusion

Legal Metrology plays an essential role in protecting the consumers by ensuring transparency, accuracy and ethical trade practices. The manufacturers, packers and importers of packaged goods need to adhere to the strict laws and regulations regarding Legal Metrology in India to avoid any legal repercussions. It is mandatory to obtain a Legal Metrology Certificate for weighing and measuring products like weight machines and thermometers in India. Get in touch with Registrationwala to obtain this certificate in a smooth and hassle-free manner.

 


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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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