Finding relevant information on packaged commodities could sometimes be a nightmare. They are printed in a small size that makes it difficult to find and read. Come July this year, these woes might come to end, thanks to an amendment to the relevant rules.
For most consumers, finding the relevant information on certain packaged commodities could be a nightmare. The information is provided in a manner that is not just small, but difficult to find and read. But these woes might come to an end come July this year. The Ministry of Consumer Affairs amended ‘The Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011’ in May 2015. These rules will be effective from July 1, 2016.
Display of important information on all packaged commodities:
As per the amendments made in May 2015, every packaged item should now have the name, address, telephone number and e-mail address of the person/office to be contacted in case of consumer complaints. Earlier, the email address was optional. According to the amendment, the following information has to be displayed in a panel of 40% of the area of the packet, in readable font size.
• Name and Address of the manufacturer/packager/ importer
• Net quantity of product (in case of unit for litre, the letter ‘L’ will be used to indicate quantity)
• Manufacturing date of the commodity
• Retail sale price of the commodity
• Dimensions of the commodity if relevant
• Consumer care contacts
How will the area be calculated?
In case the package has a volume of 10 cubic centimetres or less, then the display could be a card or tape affixed to the package with all the relevant information. In case of other packages, the area (not including the top, bottom, flange at top and bottom of cans, and shoulders and neck of bottle and jars) will be determined in the following manner:
• In the case of a rectangular package, where one entire side is clearly the biggest side, product of the height multiplied by the width of that side will be the area.
• In case of a cylindrical or nearly cylindrical package, 40 percent of the product of the height of the package multiplied by the circumference.
• In case of any other shaped package, 40 percent of the total surface of the package will be the area.
Size of the Information to be provided:
The height of any numeral that is part of the above mandatory information will conform to certain standards. The height of the numeral in the display will not be less than what is mentioned in the above table if the net quantity is declared in terms of weight or volume.
The height of the numeral in the display will not be less than what is mentioned in the following table if the net quantity is declared in terms of length, area or number.
The height of letters in the display should not be less than 1 mm height and when blown, formed, moulded, embossed or perforated, the height of letters shall not be less than 2 mm. The width of the letter or numeral in the display should not be less than one third of its height, except in the case of numeral ‘1’ and letters (i) and (I).
Special monitoring cell will be setup to ensure compliance:
The ministry will set up a quick response system to attend consumer complaints. The existing National Consumer Helpline is also being geared up for this purpose and a senior level officer will monitor the disposal of complaints on daily basis. A Monitoring cell will be setup to ensure strict compliance of new provision.