Legal Metrology: It’s been since ancient times the weights and measurements have come into use, as we know weights and measurements have played a very important role as everyday consumers, government traders, and industries make decisions based on the measurement result. These measurements affect both economic as well as individual well-being. The first accurate system of standardized weights and measures (some as accurate as 1.6 mm) was developed by the Indus Valley civilization, also known as the Harappan civilization. In December 1956, the Indian Parliament adopted the weights and measures within the Standards of Weights and Measures Act, and its effective beginning started on 1 October 1985.
Almost every Indian is a consumer, whether they are buying clothes, food, fuel or any other thing. Whenever we pay our utility bills, we feel confident because we pay for what we have received, and measurements have made this possible.
Metrology is the scientific study of measurement. Legal metrology helps in providing standards for the control of measurements and measuring instruments. Legal metrology at the same time safeguards public safety, the environment, customers, and merchants, and it is essential for fair trade.
The sale or distribution of all packaged goods in India, such as export goods, food items, and consumer products, requires a Legal Metrology Certificate from the Metrology Department of Consumer Affairs, as per the Legal Metrology Act, 2009.
Due to the advancement of science & technology, there has been vast upgrading in weighing and measuring techniques which have extended the scope of weights & measures.
1. Legal Metrology (General) Rules, 2011 - It covers about 40 different types of weighing and measuring devices, such as electronic weighing instruments, weighbridges, fuel pumps, water meters, sphygmomanometers, clinical thermometers, and so on. These weighing and measuring devices are checked on regular basis by State Government personnel using the Standard Weights and Measures and the process outlined in the Rules.
2. The Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011 - It regulates the pre-packed commodities in India and mandates certain labelling requirements prior to the commodity's sale. Under this rule, some certain declarations has to be made on every package, which are as follows
3.The Legal Metrology (Approval of Models) Rules, 2011 - It's a rule framed by the Central Government under the Legal Metrology Act 2009 to define the standard measures or numbers and how the pre-packed goods shall bear the affirmations and other particulars.
4. The Legal Metrology (National Standards) Rules, 2011 - It's a ruled frame by the Central Government to define (i) the specifications of base units of measures and base unit of mass, (ii) different standards, and (iii) times of verification of the norms.
5.The Legal Metrology (Numeration) Rules, 2011 - This provision is made for making numeration and how numbers should be written.
6. Indian Institute of Legal Metrology Rules, 2011 - Indian Institute of Legal Metrology, Ranchi is the training institute for furnishing training in the area of Legal Metrology to the Legal Metrology Officers of States/ UTs/ Union of India, under the executive control of this department. Under these rules, provisions regarding Courses to be communicated at the Institute, Obligatory functions of the Institute, Qualifications of persons to be eligible for admission in the Institute are specified.
7. The Legal Metrology (Government Approved test Centre) Rules, 2013 - The Government Approved Test Centre (GATC) Rules govern the approval of GATCs created by private individuals for the verification of certain weights and measures by State Government Officers. The weights and measures specified under these rules with regard to the verification by a GATC are:
Any person who deals with weighing and measuring instruments needs to register himself under legal metrology. It can be applied in 3 capacities which are as follows:
A specific license is issued to the specific applicant depending upon the type of business deal with. Types of licenses are as follows.
Anyone interested in obtaining a license as a weights and measures repairer needs to follow the following steps:
PCR is applicable to food products, electronic gadgets, consumer durable and non-durable goods. Any person who deals in pre-packing of any commodity in a bottle, tin wrapper, etc., needs to register themselves under rule 27 of Legal Metrology (Packed Commodity) Rules 2011 either from the Director of Legal Metrology or Controller of Legal Metrology.
List of documents and information required for applying for PCR importer license.
This Act came into force with the following objectives:
The transparent and efficient legal metrology inspires trade, industry, and consumers and brings a trustable environment to conduct business. The main functions of Legal Metrology are as follows.
Anyone who violates regulations 27 to 31 is subject to a fine of four thousand rupees. If the breach is committed by a firm, each director or person in control will be held accountable separately.
It is important to note that all 'pre-packed commodities' must be registered under Rule 27. Despite the definition specified in the Legal Metrology Act 2009, there is some ambiguity in how the term is interpreted. Despite the fact that numerous High Courts and the Supreme Court have attempted to interpret the term in various Judicial Precedents, firms/entities continue to struggle to comply with the provisions of these Rules due to a lack of clarity.
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