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Legal metrology (packaged commodities) rules amendment 2022 

  • IASbaba
  • September 10, 2022
  • 0
Governance
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Context: The Department of Consumer Affairs, Legal Metrology Division has notified a draft amendment to the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules 2011.

Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011

  • It is mandatory under the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011 to ensure a number of declarations, such as:
    • the name and address of the manufacturer/packer/importer,
    • the country of origin,
    • the common or generic name of the commodity,
    • the net quantity,
    • the month and year of manufacture,
    • the Maximum Retail Price (MRP)
    • Consumer care information.
  • All pre-packaged commodities should also be inspected.
  • The rules says that the principal display panel means the total surface area of a package containing the information required in accordance with these rules
    • the pre-printed information could be grouped together and given in one place and the online information in another place.
  • The rules provide that the declaration on the package must be legible and prominent.
    • The consumers’ ‘right to be informed’ is violated when important declarations are not prominently displayed on the package.
  • If there is more than one major product the rules states that the name or number of each product shall be mentioned on the package.
    • This sub-rule is not applicable to mechanical or electrical commodities.

The proposed amendments

  • The proposed amendments suggest that at least two prime components should be declared on the package’s front side along with the brand name.
    • Currently, manufacturers list the ingredients and nutritional information only on the back of the packaging.
  • This declaration must also include the percentage/quantity of the USPs of the product in the same font size as the declaration of the USPs.
  • Mechanical or electrical commodities are excluded from this.
  • When this new provision is added, consumers will not be misled by the fake claims of manufacturers relating to the content in blended foods and cosmetics.

Earlier amendment:

  • In July 2022, the Department of Consumer Affairs had notified the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities), (Second Amendment) Rules 2022.
  • It allowed the electronic products to declare certain mandatory declarations through the QR Code for a period of one year, if not declared in the package itself.
  • This amendment allows the industry to declare the elaborated information in the digital form through the QR Code.

Need for the amendments:

  • It is common for consumers to assume that brands’ claims are accurate, but such claims are usually misleading.
  • The front side of the package must contain the percentage of the composition of the unique selling proposition (USP).
    • A USP also known as a unique selling point, is a marketing strategy designed to inform customers about the superiority of one’s own brand or product.
    • Listing the USP of a product on the front of the package without disclosing its composition percentage violates consumer rights.
    • Also, packages displaying key constituents must display a percentage of the content used to make the product.
  • For example, if a brand sells aloe vera moisturiser or almond milk/biscuits, then the maximum percentage of the product should be aloe vera and almond, otherwise, the product name is misleading.

Source: The Hindu

 

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