What do you mean by Legal Metrology?

  • February 13, 2024
  • Registrationwala
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Legal metrology refers to the branch of metrology (the science of measurements) that deals with rules and regulations related to methods of weight and measurements which are used in trade and commerce. The Legal Metrology Act 2009 came into effect in April 2011. It regulates the import, sale, and distribution of pre-packaged commodities in India. A pre-packaged product means any product of a predetermined quantity which is packed in the absence of a purchaser. The act aims to establish a strong impression of consumer awareness and reduce unfair trade practices related to such products.

Why is Legal Metrology Necessary?

Metrology is the science of measurements. Legal metrology deals with the laws concerned with the trade of instruments under the ‘weights and measures’ category, such as weighing machines and thermometers. It also controls the trade of packaged goods quantified by weight, measure, or number. When a consumer buys pre-packaged goods from a store, it is his right to know ‘exact’ weight of the package, price and expiry date. This is why legal metrology plays a significant role in promoting fair trade practices. 

 

There are many benefits of Legal Metrology in modern trade such as: 

  • You get what you pay for: When you buy something from a store, it ensures you’re getting the right amount or size you expect. Example: If you buy 1 liter of milk, legal metrology promises it’s the exact quantity and not less.
  • Fair game: It prevents businesses from cheating by using inaccurate measurements for extra profit. If all the vendors are selling oranges for Rs 100 for 1 kilogram, and giving you the exact quantity, one vendor can’t give you less quantity for the same price.
  • Prevents you from getting ripped off: Legal metrology protects you from being ripped off or getting less than you paid for. 
  • Keeps things honest: Since it is backed by law, it helps to prevent scams and fights between buyers and sellers. 
  • Makes global trade easier: Because of the consistent standards that come with legal metrology, the transportation of goods to other countries becomes simpler and reduces hassles and costs.

Legal Metrology Certificate in Delhi - Fees, Types, Documents

If your business unit is in Delhi, you can apply for the legal metrology certificate using the online portal of the Legal Metrology Department in Delhi. If you are a manufacturer, importer or packer, you have to pay the registration fee of Rs 500. In case you are a repairer or a dealer, then the registration fee of Rs 100 will have to be paid by you.

 

Before submitting the registration form to the Legal Metrology Department, make sure of the following things:

  • All documents required must be self-attested and uploaded in PDF format, which should not exceed 2 MB.
  • Passport-size photographs should be in .jpg format.

The following documents are required for Legal Metrology Registration:

  • Trade or factory license
  • Proof of residential address
  • GST/ Sales Tax Registration
  • Packing labels pasted on the packages
  • For a company, submit a memorandum of association, and for partnership firms, submit the registered partnership deed.
  • Import-Export Code

You can apply for the following types of Legal Metrology Certificates in India:

  • Certificate of Approval: This type of certificate is meant for the manufacturers of measuring instruments. The certificate ensures that the instruments comply with the metrology requirements.
  • Verification and Stamping Certificate: This type of certificate is issued to the users of measuring instruments. It certifies the verification and calibration of instruments as per the legal metrology standards.
  • Package Registration Certificate: This type of certificate is issued to manufacturers and packers of packaged commodities. It certifies that their commodities are as per legal metrology requirements.

International Organization of Legal Metrology

India has always understood the importance of legal metrology and has been a part of France-based Intergovernmental Organisation known as the International Organization of Legal Metrology. The International Organization of Legal Metrology, commonly abbreviated as OIML, was established in 1955 to promote the global harmonization of the legal metrology procedures that encourage and facilitate international trade. India became its member in 1956. In 2023, India became the 13th country in the world to be authorized to issue Internationally Accepted OIML (International Organization of Legal Metrology) Certificates. The other 12 countries that can issue this certificate are Australia, Switzerland, China, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, France, the UK, Japan, Netherlands, Sweden, and Slovakia. 

 

In order to sell a weight or measure in the International Market, it is necessary to possess an OIML Pattern Approval Certificate. This certificate is issued by the Department of Consumer Affairs in India.

 

India follows OIML’s recommendations and methods for testing and calibrating weights and measures. OIML issuing authorities accept the reports prepared by the Legal Metrology’s Regional Reference Standards Laboratories. OIML pattern approval certificate allows the domestic manufacturers to export their weighing and measuring instruments worldwide without incurring testing fees resulting in significant cost savings.

 

Even foreign manufacturers can be issued OIML pattern approval certificates from the certified Legal Metrology’s Regional Reference Standards Laboratories in Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Bhubaneswar, Faridabad and Guwahati. By issuing the OIML approval certificates for weighing & measuring instruments to the foreign manufacturers, India can generate income due to the fees charged for the certificates. Since the certification process is now streamlined, it will reduce redundancy and save valuable resources. Since India is one of the 13 countries permitted to provide this certificate, it can influence policies and provide inputs to the OIML strategies.

Conclusion

Legal Metrology plays an important role in the industry of trade and commerce. It guarantees that people get the quantity and size of the payment they’ve purchased. The vendors have to provide the exact quantity of the product paid for by the customers as failing to do so can lead to getting fined. Besides this, legal metrology helps to maintain the global standards and makes the process of imports and exports easier. India has always understood the value of legal metrology, that’s why it has been a member of OIML since 1956. If you need help applying for Legal metrology certificates for domestic/international business, feel free to get in touch with the Registrationwala team! We would love to help you.


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