What is the product labeling & Packaging Requirements? What are the Labeling compliances in India? What information should appear on a product Label? 

The above question may appear straightforward; however, the solution may not be so straightforward. You’ll need to know about the many rules in India that govern package labelling in order to do this. Our response has been broken into the following paragraphs for the convenience of our users:   

Product Labelling Rules in India

The labelling requirements in India are complicated, but our labelling consultants and professionals at ELT have effectively built a specialty in this consulting sector through years of experience. The Legal Metrology Packaging Rules (LMPCR), 2011, are the major regulation in India that controls the legality of labelling information on the packaging of any Pre-Packed Commodities. Manufacturers, brand owners, importers, e-commerce firms, and packers are all subject to these laws. Rule 4 of LMPCR has clearly laid that “No person shall pre-pack or cause or permit to be pre-packed any commodity for sale, distribution, or delivery unless the package in which the commodity is pre-packed bears thereon, or on a Label is securely affixed thereto, such declarations as required to be made under these rules.     

Explanation. – The existence of packages without the declaration of retail sale price within the manufacturer premises shall not be construed as a violation of these rules and it shall be ensured that all packages leaving the premises of manufacturer for their destination shall have declaration of retail sale price on them as required in this rule.”  

Various Other Laws effecting the Labelling Rules in India

The Legal Metrology Act, 2009, and the Legal Metrology Pre-Package Rules, 2011, are the primary laws governing labelling in India. In addition, there are several more regulations that impose extra labelling requirements for certain groups of items that may fall into the following categories: 

Drugs  Drugs Act 
Cosmetics  Cosmetic Rules 
Medical Devices  Medical Device Rules, 2017 
BIS Certified Products  BIS Labelling Rules 
Food Products  FSSAI’s Food Labelling Rules  
Eco Mark  BIS Eco Mark Labelling Rules 
ISO Certifications   Prescribed under respective ISO Standards 
E-Waste Mark  E-Waste Management Rules, 2016 
Wool Mark  Wool Mark Industry Certifications 
Organic Food Mark  Organic Food & Certification Rules 
Hallmark for Jewellery   BIS Hallmarking Rules 
Any other Marks which may not be covered here but applicable to the clients Industry. 

 

Because there are so many labelling rules, it is very common and difficult for any industry to follow them all. Putting together a product with a variety of labelling requirements necessitates the use of a variety of expertise. Labeling of food goods, for example, may necessitate the involvement of Legal Metrology and Food Technology professionals. At ELT, we recognize the needs of industry and have assembled a team of experts from several sectors to provide a comprehensive solution for the client. If you’re having trouble with labelling, you can reach out to our labelling experts. 

What declarations are to be made in Commodities sold in packaged form?  What are the latest amendments under the Legal Metrology Package Commodities Rules, 2011?     

Every package shall bear thereon or on label securely affixed thereto, following declarations in accordance with the provisions of LMPCR: 

  1. Name and address of the manufacturer, or if the manufacturer is not also the packer, the names and addresses of the manufacturer and packer & in case of imported products the name and address of the importer, 
  1. Country of origin or manufacturer or assembly in case of imported products shall be mentioned on the package.  
  1. Common or generic name of the commodity/s so packed and in case of packing of more than one product, the name and number or quantity of each product shall be mentioned on the package. 
  1. The net quantity of the commodity so packed must be mentioned in terms of the standard unit of weight or measure; if the packed commodity is sold by number, then number of such commodities contained in the package shall be mentioned. 
  1. The month end year in which the commodity is manufactured or pre-packed or imported shall be mentioned in the package. However as per recent amendment effective from 1st April, 2022, in case of imported items the requirement of mentioning of “month & year of imports” has been replaced by “month end year of manufacture”.  
  1. The “best before” or “use by the date, month & year” shall be mentioned on the label if a package contains a commodity which may become unfit for human consumption after a period of time. 
  1. Mentioning of the MRP which should be conclusive of all taxes and it should be clearly indicating that MRP is in Indian Rupees. From 1st April, 2022 the concept of mentioning dual MRP has been introduced wherein if the quantity is more than one in number or in other prescribed units of measurement, then MRP per number needs to be mentioned. For example, a package of 10 baby diapers has MRP of Rs. 100 now after the amendment of the MRP of per number of baby diapers i.e., Rs. 10 needs to be mentioned separately.  
  1. As per the Rule 14: Where a package contains commodities like bed-sheets, hemmed fabric materials, dhoties, sarees, napkins, pillow-covers, towels, table cloths or similar other commodities, the number and the dimensions of finished size of such commodities shall also be declared on the package or on the label affixed thereto.  
  1. Declarations with regard to the dimensions of container type commodities – The commodities shall be expressed as bags, boxes, cups, pans or the like designed and sold in retail trade for being used as containers for other materials or objects and shall be labeled with the declaration of quantity as prescribed under the provisions of LMPCR.  
  1. The commodities which have a relationship with the dimensions and weight, or combination thereof, the declaration of quantity on the package containing such commodity shall also include a declaration as to such dimensions, weight or combination  
  1. Apart from the Rules prescribed under LMPCR there are many other labelling rules under the other regulatory laws like Food Labelling Rules by FSSAI, Medical Device Labelling Rules, FDA Labelling Rules, Cosmetic Labelling Rules, Drugs Labelling Rules, BIS Labelling Rules.  Since the labelling rules are quite technical in nature, users are advised to carefully read the LMPCR & other labelling rules or take the help of professional consultants for the implementation of labelling rules with their businesses. 

Who is exempt from Legal Metrology Labelling Rules? 

In the Legal Metrology Packaged Commodities Rules, 2011 Following are exempted – 

  1. “Industrial consumer’ means the consumer who buys packaged commodities directly from the manufacturer or from an importer or from wholesale dealer for use by that industry and the package shall have declaration ‘not for retail sale’
  1. “Institutional consumer” means the institution who hires or avails of the facilities or services in connection with transport, hotel, hospital or other organization which buy packaged commodities directly form the manufacturer or from an importer or from wholesale dealer for use by the institution and the package shall have declaration ‘not for retail sale’

Thus, as per the Legal Metrology Packaged Commodities Rules, 2011 a person who wants exemption of the packaged commodities rules he needs to be an industrial customer / buyer who purchased the packaged commodity directly form the manufacture in bulk and same should not be for retail sale, but for the industrial customer’s own use.  Similarly in the case of institutional consumers who buy packaged commodities directly from the manufacturer or from the importer or for wholesale dealer for use by the institution himself and not meant for any further retail sale.    

What are the Labeling Laws on Food Products?  Do Food Labels have to be approved?  Who regulates labeling of packaged food? Does FDA regulate Labeling? 

Food product labelling is a highly sensitive issue for which the government has made stringent provisions. The LMPCR, 2011, is the primary law in India that governs the labelling of PrePacked Commodities produced by a variety of industries. However, there are other laws enacted by the Food & Drugs Administration (FDA) governing the labeling & packaging of food products:

  1. The 2018 Food Safety and Standards (Advertising and Claims) Regulations:  These rules address exaggerated claims made by manufacturers on their products, such as balanced diet, dietary fiber, fat, equivalence claims, health claims, nutrition claims, recommended dietary allowances, 100 percent organic food, sugar free, no additives, and soon.  The food business operator or marketer must obtain prior approval from the Food Authority under these regulations through the prescribed procedure for approval of claims.
  1. The 2018 Food Safety and Standards (Packaging) Regulations: These laws include food packaging quality in terms of food grade, multi-layer / composite packaging, the total migration limit of non-volatile substance release from packaging material, primary food packaging, secondary food packaging, and so on. Furthermore, these restrictions mandated the use of tin cans, glass bottles, and plastic containers in certain types of food. Furthermore, these restrictions ban the use of newspapers or any other similar material for food storage and packing. Every food company operator must get a certificate of conformity from a NABL Accredited Laboratory for the packaging material they use under these laws. 
  2. The Food Safety and Standards (Labeling and Display) Regulations, 2018, are a set of rules that govern how food is labelled and displayed. These rules outlined the labelling standards for pre-packaged foods, as well as the requirements for vital information to be displayed on facilities where food is made, processed, served, and stored. The government regulates food business operators in various areas, such as multi-unit packaging, non-vegetarian food, recommended dietary allowances, e-Commerce of food items, food for catering purposes, and so on, under these rules. 

Our team of Food Labeling Consultants and Experts at ELT helps users produce appropriate labelling and avoid getting in issue with government enforcement authorities. 

How can you ensure accurate labelling on your product? 

As previously said, there are numerous rules that effect the package labelling standards in India, making it a difficult task for the average person to determine whether the labelling on their goods is accurate and lawful. You have two options for ensuring that your product’s labelling is correct:   

  1. To thoroughly examine all of the rules that govern your product labelling and make the necessary changes on your own. 
  1. To enlist the help of product labelling specialists and rely only on their advice. 

Penalties for Inaccurate Labelling  

The various Labeling Laws in India impose harsh penalties and include provisions for imprisonment. Because product labelling directly affects consumer concerns, many non-governmental organizations in India are working to combat incorrect labelling. For example, the Advertisement Council of India, an autonomous body, frequently issues legal notices to advertisers who make exaggerated claims on their products, such as “100% clear skin in 10 days.” In such cases, the brand owner may demand that all products be immediately recalled from the market, along with severe penalties and punishments. Violations of the Legal Metrology Labelling Rules are criminal in nature, and repeat offences may result in the offender being charged with a punishment of imprisonment.

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