Explained | The mandatory requirements for packaged commodities

Source: The post is based on the article “Explained | The mandatory requirements for packaged commodities” published in The Hindu on 8th September 2022.

What is the News?

The Department of Consumer Affairs Legal Metrology Division has notified a draft amendment to the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules 2011.

What is Legal Metrology?

Legal Metrology is defined as the legal requirements that are required to be fulfilled for governance over the utilization of standard weights and for any source of instruments that are utilized for the purpose of measurements.

Note: The establishment of standards of weight and measure is included in Union List (entry 50).

– Enforcement of laws with respect to weights and measures (legal metrology) is mentioned in the Concurrent list (entry 33A).

What are the mandatory provisions under Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules 2011?

Declarations: The rules aim to ensure a number of declarations, such as: 1) The name and address of the manufacturer or packer or importer, 2) The country of origin, 3) The common or generic name of the commodity, 4) The net quantity, 5) The month and year of manufacture among others.

All the information should be grouped together and given in one place. The declaration on the package must be legible and prominent.

If there is more than one major product, the name or number of each product shall be mentioned on the package. However, this is not applicable to mechanical or electrical commodities.

What are the proposed amendments?

Currently, manufacturers list the ingredients and nutritional information only on the back of the packaging. According to the draft notification, at least two prime components should be declared on the package’s front side along with the brand name.

Packages displaying key constituents must display a percentage of the content used to make the product, known as the unique selling proposition (USP).

Note: USP 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.

– For example, if a brand sells aloe vera moisturizer, then what maximum percentage of the product should be aloe vera, otherwise, the product name is misleading.

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