Role of Legal Metrology in Food Industry
In recent years, India has been witnessing some drastic changes and shifts in the legal system of the country. The Government of India is working day and night to implement new laws as well as reform the existing laws in the country to safeguard the interests of the citizens of the country and upgrade the status of the nation globally.
This article is specifically written to highlight the concept and role of legal metrology in the food industry, to ascertain what is legal metrology for food products and how does it play such an important role in the day-to-day lives of the people.
Our team of legal metrology consultants at ELT Corporate is one of the leading legal metrology consultancy and registration firms registered in India and has dealt with innumerable legal metrology issues and queries of people located in any corner of the country. We successfully provide efficient consultations and registration services to people at the best economical and affordable pricing, keeping in mind to provide the best legal metrology services to each one of you!
Department of Legal Metrology
- The legal metrology departments and organizations formed by the Government of India helps in ensuring and regulating the weights and measures in the country. They play a significant role in ensuring safeguard the interest of the consumers.
- They also ensure that the goods and food products (whether in sealed or lost condition) are sold and purchased in the right quantity and capacity as mentioned and claimed.
- The Department of legal metrology established under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs is headed by the Director of legal metrology.
- The department ensures to maintain the accuracy of weighing and measuring products in the country and to successfully and smoothly regulate interstate, intrastate as well as international trade.
Legal Metrology and the Food Industry
- The main objective of Legal metrology is to bring a uniform standardized accuracy and uniformity in weights and measures in India across all the products.
- Weights and measures play an intricate role in food products as well. Therefore, the provisions, rules, and regulations of legal metrology apply to food products as well.
- The Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011 were established for the regulation of pre-packaged commodities in India.
- In the above-mentioned rules every manufacturer, packer, or importer is prescribed mandatory to comply with mandatory labeling requirements such as net quantity, date and year of manufacture, place of origin, Maximum retail price, name, and address of the manufacturer, or packer, etc.
- Thus with an aim to ease business operations and smooth conduct of trade and commerce, certain amendments were made in the year 2017 resulting in harmonizing the package labeling provisions of legal metrology with the Food Safety & Standard Regulations (FSSR), 2017 with respect to food products in the country.
Essential Provisions of Package Labelling Rules for Food Products
The provisions and rules under legal metrology with respect to labeling food products can be discussed as given below
- Name of the manufacturer or packer
- Address or short address of the manufacturer or packer
- Principal Display Panel
- Declarations on the commodity or the package
- Month and Year of manufacturer
- Best before or expiry date
- Net Quantity
- Maximum Retail Price
- Common or generic name
- Dimensions (if any)
1) The Name of the manufacturer, packer, or importer
• Manufacturer means a person who makes or produces that product or commodity and includes a person, firm, company. Whereas, packer means who packs that manufactured product before selling or distributing the same for public use.
• The name and address of the manufacturer, importer, or the packer, as the case may if manufacturer or importer or packer is different from each other for the respective product. Such name of the manufacturer, importer, or packer should be written on the respective package before selling or distributing the same.
2) The Address or short address of the manufacturer or packer
• The commodity or the package should contain the address of the manufacturer, where and by whom the product has been manufactured. In the case of the packer, the address of the packer should also be displayed on the package.
• The address should contain where the manufacturing premises is located, the city and state where such premises are established, postal index number (PIN) code of the same.
3) Net Quantity
• In simple words, net quantity means the total weight, numbers, capacity, or volume of the commodities present in the package excluding the extra packaging weight.
• The net quantity displayed by the manufacturer or packer should be accurate in weight and measurement as the price of that particular commodity will vary according to the quantity of the respective product.
• Only the S.I. system that is a standard International System of Units must be used for determining the net quantity of the product as well as at the time of displaying it on the commodity.
Units of Net Quantity:
a) For Solid, semi-solid, viscous, or a mixture of solid and liquid
– Term of Unit = Mass
– Unit of weight, of :
- Quantity >1kg = Kilogram (kg)
- Quantity = 1kg = Then, Gram (g) OR Kilogram (kg)
b) For Liquid or is solid by cubic measure
– Term of Unit = Volume
– Unit of weight, of :
- Quantity >1 L = Litre (L)
- Quantity = 1 L = Then, Litre (L) OR Millilitre (ml)
4) Date on the commodity or the manufacture
• Month and year of manufacture or packing-Such dates can be written in words or numbers.
• Best Before or Expiry Date-Such dates can also be written in words or numbers.
5) Principal Display Panel
• Principal Display Panel means the part of the container or package containing the commodity where all the relevant description about the commodity inside is displayed outside for the consumer to understand the nature and use and every other detail related to that product.
• Such Principal Display Panel can be in English or Devanagari Script i.e. Hindi.
• In the case of transparent packaging such display panels can be avoided varying on the commodity inside.
• Dimensions of Principal Display Panel vary from product to product depending on their area and sizes.
• Dimensions can be referred like
|Quantity||Height ( in mm)|
|In Weight/Volume||In length/area, number||Normal||When blown, molded, perforated, embossed, formed, etc.|
|Up to 200g||Up to 100 cm2||1||2|
|Above 200g/ml and up to 500g/ml||Above 100 cm 2 and up to 500 cm2||2||4|
|Above 500g/ml||Above 500 cm2 and up to 2500 cm2||4||6|
|–||Above 2500 cm2||6||8|
Through this article with the aim of displaying the relationship between the provisions of legal metrology rules and the food industry in India, our main objective behind it was to convey how much legal metrology is relevant in our daily lives and what is the importance of it in the food products that we consume daily. We at ELT Corporate are always more than happy to create such awareness through its blogs, seminars, and workshops for people all over the country with respect to legal metrology laws in India!