To further extend the scope and the applicability of the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011 (“Rules”), the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution (“Ministry”) recently vide its notification no. G.S.R. 722 (E) dated October 06, 2023 (“Notification”), amended the Rules by issuing the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Amendment Rules, 2023 (“Amendment Rules”) which shall be enforceable from January 01, 2024.
The following are some of the amendments undertaken by the Department of Consumer Affairs:
- The following definitions have been included in the Rules:
- ‘Combination Package’: means a package that is intended for retail sale and contains 2 (two) or more individual packages, or individual pieces, of dissimilar commodities such as a package of knives, spoons, napkins, cups, etc.
- ‘Group Package’: means a package which is intended for retail sale and contains 2 (two) or more individual packages, or individual pieces, of similar, but not identical (whether in quantity or size) commodities such as a package containing assorted pack of biscuits and chocolates, assorted jar of seeds, etc.
- ‘Multi-Piece Package’: means a package which contains 2 (two) or more individual packaged or labeled pieces of the same commodities of identical quantity which is intended for retail sale, either in individual pieces or the package as a whole. For better understanding, a package containing 5 (five) toilet soap cakes with a net weight of 20g each and a total net weight of 100 g is a multi-piece package.
- As per sub-rule 6 (1) (d) of the Rules, the month and year in which the commodity is manufactured shall be mentioned in the package. However, after the third proviso under sub-rule 6 (1) (d), the following proviso as reiterated below has been added by way of the Amendment Rules which will be effective from April 01, 2024:
“Provided also that nothing contained in this clause shall apply to spare parts and accessories used for the purpose of servicing with a warranty and not sold to end customers:
Provided also that for electronic products, spare parts, and accessories, the declaration of month and year of manufacture shall be specified anywhere on the retail package in a visible and clearly legible manner.”
- After the second proviso under sub-rule 6 (11) of the Rules, a proviso has been added to the effect wherein, a declaration of unit sale price in rupees is not required for a combination package or a group package, or a multi-piece package.
- Under rule 26 of the Rules, a new sub-rule has been inserted to the effect wherein, the Rules shall not be applicable to any package containing a commodity if it contains loose commodities that are ordered via e-commerce channels and wherein, the consumers are aware of the details of the commodity ordered such as its type and quantity. However, the non-applicability of rule 26 is subject to the condition that the commodities shall bear the following information as mentioned below
- The name and address of the manufacturer or marketer. brand owner, importer, or seller with the country of origin or manufacture in the case of imported products;
- The e-mail ID and phone number of the consumer care;
- The retail sale price of the package shall be inclusive of all the taxes in the Indian currency; and
- The net quantity in terms of the standard unit of weight or measure, or where the commodity is sold by number then in that case the number of the commodity.