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Ministry of Consumer Affairs Notifies the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Amendment Rules, 2022

Ministry of Consumer Affairs Notifies the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Amendment Rules, 2022
Trade & Regulatory Compliance Practice | Kainat Singh

The Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution notified the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Amendment Rules, 2022 on 28th March 2022 ("2022 Amendment Rules") amending Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011 (“LMPC Rules”) and a subsequent amendment of 2nd November 2021 (“2021 Amendment Rules”). The 2022 Amendment Rules granted significant clarity on the affixation of “Unit Sale Price” on pre-packaged commodities which was introduced under the 2021 Amendment Rules. These 2022 Amendment Rules shall come into force on 1st October, 2022.

Salient Features of the 2022 Amendment Rules:

  • ‘Unit Sale Price’ for commodities sold by number or unit: Under the 2022 Amendment Rules, Unit Sale Price is only to be declared per number or unit if any item is sold by number or unit.
  • No affixation of Unit Sale Price where it is equal to the Retail Sale Price: ‘Retail Sale Price’ means the maximum price at which the commodity in packaged form may be sold to the consumer inclusive of all taxes. Under the 2022 Amendment Rules, the second proviso to the newly substituted Rule 6 (11) clarifies that a Unit Sale Price is not required for the pre-packaged commodities in which Retail Sale Price is equal to the Unit Sale Price. This clarifies the ambiguity in the 2021 Amendment Rules, which did not specify whether a Unit Sale Price would have to be declared on pre-packaged commodities that include a primary commodity/main commodity (to which the Retail Sale Price/MRP can be ascribed) alongside complementary components/accessories.
  • Extension of enforcement date of the 2021 Amendment Rules: The 2022 Amendment Rules shall come into effect on 1st October 2022 and have also extended the enforcement date of the 2021 Amendment Rules from 1st April 2022 to 1st October 2022.
  • No prosecution for declarations made from 1st April 2022: The 2022 Amendments Rules, provide that no prosecution shall be initiated against the manufacturer/packer/ importer of pre-packaged commodities for making declaration with effect from the 1st April, 2022 in accordance with the 2021 Amendment Rules. Hence, those who have begun making compliant declarations with effect from 1st April, 2022 itself (the previously notified date of enforcement), would not be prosecuted.

Additionally, the Ministry also released a consolidated and updated version of the LMPC Rules incorporating all the amendments made to the said Rules till date along with corresponding FAQ’s.

Important clarifications provided by the FAQ’s issued by the Ministry:

  • Advertisements don’t require mandatory declaration of the “unit sale price” and that requirement is limited to the pre-packaged commodity/product alone. [Sl. No. 36 of the FAQ]
  • As “unit sale price” it is not required to be displayed on e-commerce websites. [Sl. No. 37 of the FAQ]
  • As “unit sale price” it is not required to be displayed on e-commerce websites. [Sl. No. 37 of the FAQ]
  • Any FREE products or FREE additional volume/quantity/units of products in the same pack or separately should be excluded from the computation of the Unit Sale Price. There is no requirement to provide a unit sale price on a free product that is not intended for sale. [Sl. No. 40, 41 and 42 of the FAQ]
  • The letter case for MRP prefix 'inclusive of all taxes' may be in small or upper case. [Sl. No. 44 of the FAQ]
  • The numeral size requirement as provided under the LMPC Rules is applicable only for MRP value printed and not for the prefixes ‘MRP Rs.’ and suffix ‘inclusive of all taxes’ [Sl. No. 45 of the FAQ]
  • All the letters and numerals of the consumer care details should be as per the provisions of the LMPC Rules. [Sl. No. 47 of the FAQ]
  • For Consumer Care Information, the address can be referred to address information provided elsewhere in the label. [Sl. No. 48 of the FAQ]

Our Take:

The recent amendment to the LMPC Rules and the accompanying FAQ’s provide clarity on the mandatory declaration requirements on a label for pre-packaged commodities. Specifically, the inclusion of the second proviso under Rule 6 (11) under the 2022 Amendment Rules clarifies the position that where the Retail Sale Price (i.e. the maximum retail price at which the commodity can be sold) is equal to the Unit Sale Price, then declaration of Unit Sale Price is not required. Effectively, this would mean that in the case of a pre-packaged commodity that only includes one main saleable commodity (to which the retail sale price can be ascribed) alongside other components/accessories in the package are complementary to the main commodity, then it would not be required to separately declare a Unit Sale Price.

Links:

The Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011 - https://consumeraffairs.nic.in/sites/default/files/file-uploads/latestnews/LM_PCR_All_Amendements.pdf

The Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Amendment Rules, 2021 - https://consumeraffairs.nic.in/sites/default/files/file-uploads/latestnews/230946.pdf

The Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Amendment Rules, 2022 - https://consumeraffairs.nic.in/sites/default/files/file-uploads/latestnews/GSR226.pdf

Link to FAQ’s - https://consumeraffairs.nic.in/sites/default/files/file-uploads/latestnews/LM_FAQs.pdf

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