Legal Metrology Law Requirements for Packaging & Labelling of Goods in India

Author: Jayshree Chandra, Senior Partner & Anisha Jhawar, Associate at ZEUS Law

Published in https://www.asiancommunityne


The packing and labelling for commodities intended for retail sale, distribution, and delivery in India are governed by Legal Metrology Act, 2009 (‘Act’) and Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011 (‘Rules’).

The labelling or packaging is required to carry a declaration that is definite, plain, and conspicuous, and covering, inter alia, the following:

  • Details such as name and address of manufacturer and packer of the commodity. Additionally, for imported products, the name and address of the importer as well as the name of the country of origin or manufacture or assembly are also required to be mentioned.
  • Details about the commodity such as (i) common or generic names of the commodity, (ii) name and number/ quantity of each product where there are more than one product, (iii) net quantity in terms of standard unit of weight or measure of the commodity or number of commodities contained, (iv) month and year of manufacture, (v) ‘best before’ or ‘use by’ for package containing commodity which becomes unfit for consumption after a period of time, (vi) sizes/ dimensions of the commodity/ individual pieces, and (vii) identification colour dots such as brown dot for non-vegetarian origin, green dot for vegetarian origin or red dot for soap, shampoo, tooth pastes and cosmetics and toiletries.
  • Details of price of the commodity including maximum retail price (MRP) inclusive of all taxes (in Indian currency), unit sale price in rupees rounded off to nearest two decimal places.
  • For grievance redressal, the packaging needs to mention name, address, telephone, e-mail of person to be contacted in case of consumer complaints.
  • In case the packaging consists of number of components, packed in two or more units, for sale as single commodity, either the declaration is required to be made on the main package along with information about other accompanying packages, or declaration on individual packages along with intimation on main package. Further, if the components are sold as spare parts, such declarations are also required to be made on each individual package or spare parts.

Notably, the Rules do not permit to affix individual stickers on the package for altering or making declaration as required. However, only for reducing MRP, sticker with revised lower MRP may be affixed on the packaging so as not to cover the previous MRP by manufacturer or packer.

The entities dealing in electronic products, cosmetics, food articles, and seeds also need to be mindful of additional requirements to be complied by them as per the applicable rules governing such products. Further, in case of packaging of alcoholic beverages and spirituous liquor, the State specific excise laws and rules in which the same are manufactured also apply.

The Act prohibits manufacture, packing, sale, import, distribution, or delivery of such commodity in India which do not comply with the packaging and labelling requirements provided under legal metrology laws. The Act also provides for seizure of packages as well as penalties in form of monetary fines and imprisonment for offences and non-adherence to the prescribed requirements. Therefore, it is advisable for importers and domestic traders to seek appropriate professional advice for compliance with the packaging and labelling regulations and norms.

(This Article is solely for information purposes, does not constitute legal or professional advisory and should not be relied upon or used as a substitute for legal advice from attorney.)

About the Authors: Jayshree Navin Chandra, Senior Partner at ZEUS Law, has been a practicing lawyer since 2001 with extensive corporate and transactional advisory experience. She advises and represents clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups as well as Central and State Government departments and public bodies in a wide range of domestic and cross border transactions, across industries in practice areas including Corporate and Company Law, M&A and Joint Venture, Private Equity, FDI & FII, Real Estate and Infrastructure, Data privacy and protection, Intellectual Property & Commercial Law Advisory.

Ms. Anisha Jhawar is an Associate at ZEUS Law and works in the Corporate and Commercial practice vertical.

ZEUS Law Associates is an ISO certified full service corporate commercial law firm with a team of dedicated and experienced lawyers well versed in handling domestic and cross border transactions across sectors, jurisdictions and regulatory landscapes. The firm’s practice areas include Corporate and Company Law, M&A and Joint Venture, Private Equity, FDI & FII, Real Estate and Infrastructure, Intellectual Property & Commercial Law, Litigation, Alternate Dispute Resolution, Indirect Tax and NRI Services.