Legal Metrology - Registration as 'Packer'/'Importer'

Every individual or an entity dealing with pre-packed commodities shall register themselves as a 'Manufacturer'/ 'Packer' or an 'Importer' with the Director/Controller of Legal Metrology in the concerned Jurisdiction. The Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011 (Rules) completely provide for all statutory requirements to be followed by persons dealing with and declarations to be made with respect to 'Packaged commodities'.

Rule 27 of the said Rules provides for the procedure for Registration as a 'Packer' or 'Importer'

Scope and Applicability:

Rule 27 contains provisions relating to Registration as a 'Manufacturer', 'Packer' and an 'Importer'. Before analyzing the procedure for registration, it is important to understand the differences between the terms 'manufacturer' and 'packer'.

According to Rule 2(d), the term 'Manufacturer' means and includes any person / Firm, who

• Produce/ make / manufacture a commodity

• Puts, or causes to be put, any mark on any packaged commodity and the mark claims the commodity in the package to be a commodity produced, made or manufactured by such person or firm.

On the other hand Rule 2(g) defines 'Packer' as a person / Firm, who which pre-packs any commodity in any bottle, tin, wrapper or otherwise, in units suitable for sale whether wholesale or retail.

The term 'pre-packed commodity' means a commodity which without the purchaser being present is placed in a package of whatever nature, whether sealed or not, so that the product contained therein has a pre-determined quantity;[1]

Rule 27 provides provision for two licenses- Packer and an Importer. The Rule lays down that the registration is applicable for any person who prepacks or imports any commodity for sale distribution or delivery.

Timeframe:

Application in this regard shall be made before the Director/Controller of Legal Metrology as the case may be made within ninety days from the date on which he or it commences such pre-packing/importing.

Form and manner:

Every Applicant shall submit an Application for Registration before the Director/Controller as the case may be, containing the following particulars:

(a) The name of the applicant;

(b) The complete address of the premises (One or more) at which the pre-packing or import of one or more commodities is made by the applicant;

'Complete address' means, the postal address at which the factory is situated. In any other case, the name of the street, number (if any) assigned to the premises of the manufacturer or packer and either the name of the city and State where the business is carried on by the manufacturer or packer or the Postal Index Number [PIN] Code.[2]

(c) The name of the commodity or commodities pre-packed or imported by the applicant.

In addition to the above particulars of goods imported and the names of the countries from which the goods are imported are to be given in case of application to register as an importer.

Registration of a shorter address is allowed if the Controller/Director is satisfied that such address is sufficient to enable the consumer or any other person to identify the manufacturer or the packer.[3]

The Application along with the supporting documents are required to be submitted along with the fee of Rupees Five Hundred. Upon verification of the Application and the documents, the Controller/Director as the case may be will issue the certificate of Registration as a 'packer' or 'Importer'.

Amendment to the Certificate of Registration:

Any amendment to be carried out in the certificate of registration shall be communicated to the Registrar in writing along with a fee of rupees one hundred.

Offenses and Penalty:

Whoever contravenes the provisions of rules 27 to 31, he shall be punished with fine of four thousand rupees. In case if the violation is committed by a company, every director or person in-charge shall be punished independently.

It is pertinent to note that, the Registration under Rule 27 is mandatory for all 'pre-packed commodities'. In spite of the definition provided in the Legal Metrology Act 2009, there is ambiguity in interpretation of the said term. Even though various High Courts and the Supreme Court have tried to interpret the term in various Judicial Precedents, lack of clarity in this regard still prevail among firms/ entities in complying with the provisions of these Rules.

[1] Section 2(l) of the Legal Metrology Act 2009
[2] Explanation to Rule 10(1) of the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodity) Rules, 2011
[3] Explanation to Rule 28 of the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodity) Rules, 2011

 

SAVITHA G ARUN 
on 07 November 2017
Published in Others
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