FSSAI Food License

Packaged Commodities Rules: A Complete Guide

Packaged Commodities Rules

This article encompasses the provisions relating to Packaged Commodities Rules a complete Guide of its relative legislations also. There are specific legislations related to packaged commodities. It is called the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011. Every food business operator has to carry out FSSAI registration.

To encourage ease of doing business operations, amendments in packaged commodities rules been notified in 2017, harmonizing the labeling provisions, concerning food products, with the regulations as laid down under the Food Safety & Standards Regulations[1] (FSSR), 2017. The Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011 were prescribed to regulate pre-packaged commodities. According to the said rules, pre-packaged commodities are required to comply with specific labeling requirements concerning net quantity, MRP and customer care information.

Meaning of Metrology

The word metrology has been defined as the science of weights and measures or measurement and also called a system of weights or measures.

Background of Packaged Commodities Rules

  • In India, legal metrology is the new name of standards of weights and measures. Initially, the Standards of Weights & Measures Act, 1976 aimed to establish standards of weights and measures, to regulate trade or commerce in weights, measurements, and other goods.
  • It is based on the metric system and international system of units recognized by OIML- International Organization of Legal Metrology. India is one of the leading members of the OIML. This Act was subsequently replaced by the Legal Metrology Act, 2009 with the aim of protecting the interest of the consumers and other stakeholders.

Aim of the Government

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Under the Legal Metrology Act, 2009, the Central Government is empowered to make rules concerning the standard quantities and manner in which the declarations necessary for the pre-packaged goods. Henceforth, the government brought out the Packaged Commodities Rules, 2011, which came from 6th June 2013.

What are Packaged Commodities Rules?

  1. What is a packaged commodity?
  • According to the Act, it means, that a commodity which is packed in accordance to the requirements of the act.
  • The Act clearly states that the product is packaged in the absence of the consumer. The packaged commodity contains a predetermined quantity of the goods which is sought to be sold.
  1. Purpose of the Packaged Commodities Rules
  • It is effortless that, the purchaser is not in the position to understand what the product is.
  • Without proper directions, the purchaser would not receive what he wanted to acquire.
  1. Where packaged commodities rules are applicable?

The Packaged Commodities Rules are applicable, such as:

  • Packaged commodities rules are applicable for all the products such as – food products, electronic gadgets, consumable durable or non-durables.
  1. What type of Packaged Commodities Rules needs to be mentioned?
What are Packaged Commodities Rules?

According to section 18 of the Act, certain declarations are to be made on the packaged commodity. Regarding Rule 6 of the given Act, it prescribes the following declarations what has to be mentioned on the packages:

a. Names and address of the manufacturer

There must be mention of names and addresses of the packers and names and address of the importer if the goods are imported. If there are multiple names and address, then names and address of the manufacturer shall be taken for any litigation.

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b. Common and generic names of the goods

The purpose is that the manufacturer, packer, importer, shall mention the names of the common or generic names of the goods, or the prevalent name in the industry.

c. Quantity of the commodity

It has to mention all, whether it measures some units of weight, calculate the net quantity, has to be declared in the said unit of weight or measure, and where it is mentioned in numbers, the numbers of said packaged goods should be mentioned.

d. Date of manufacturing and date of expiry

The month of manufacturing and date of its expiry is to be mentioned on the packaged commodity according to packaged commodities rules.

e. Retail sale price

It is important to mention the sale price which shall be inclusive of the taxes, and all the levies.

f. Dimensions of the Commodity

The size is an important aspect for any commodity. Where there are multiple commodities, the dimensions shall be mentioned for all.

g. A consumer complaint provision

The packaged commodity shall contain the address, phone number, and name where the consumer complaints can be addressed.

h. Any other Declarations

For all the commodities, it is essential to mention, the declarations related to the products. According to Rule 17, it has listed specific situations where declarations can be relating to containers shape or large bags, the nature of boxes to define the statements that may be required for the same.

Exceptions and Application of Packaged Commodities Rules:

  1. Applicable-
  • According to Chapter-II of the Act, the Packaged Commodities Rules apply to packages which are intended for retail sale.
  • Retail sale means where there is sale distribution or delivery through retail sale shops, agencies or any other business mode or by any individual or group of individuals.
  • Under Rule 5, the packaged commodities are mentioned in the Second Schedule are to be packaged for sale, distribution or delivery in the standard quantity as mentioned in the schedule.
  1. Exceptions
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According to Rule 3 of the Act,

  • Packages of a commodity containing a quantity of more than 25 kg or 25 litres, excluding cement, and fertilizers slid in bags, up to 50 kg and
  • Packaged commodities which are meant for industrial consumers, or institutional consumers.

Conclusion

Packaged Commodities Rules came to create awareness to the consumers of what they are purchasing, and are not cheated by the unscrupulous manufacturers. This Act of Packaged Commodities Rules plays a significant role in defining information available to consumers. It is crucial that the purchaser is aware of the ingredients used for manufacture and the description of its complaint forums.

Read our article:Food Safety and Standards Rules in India

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