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Legal Metrology

There are many things we use in our daily life out of habit but do not realize that how much their measurements are important. Right from brushing the teeth, having a bath in the morning, driving to office and reaching on time. In the example, in every activity we do, some kind of measurement or weighing is used. For brushing, the toothpaste we use comes in a package, which is weighed in grams. We pay our water bills, which are monitored through a meter where consumption is recorded in liters or gallons. Then speed of the car is shown on the speedometer and calculated as kilometers or miles and fuel in liters and time, of course, has units to be measured in hours and minutes and so on.

So any error in measurement and weightment can cause wrong results. And biased errors at any point can create considerable financial prejudices. So Legislation on measurements and measuring instruments is required in all these cases, hence Legal Metrology (erstwhile Standards of Weights and Measures Act, 1976) to combat ill effects and to ensure the rights of the consumers as well as traders or buyers and the sellers in all the transactions or where measurement of any kind is required.

In India, Department of Consumer Affairs under Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Government of India, takes care of Legal Metrology. The central legislation i.e. Legal Metrology Act, 2009, was enacted as a model Act to be adopted, with or without modification, by each State Government. Few State Governments have enacted their own Act for regulating matters connected with legal metrologies.

The definition given in the chapter for the same purpose is "Legal metrology" means that part of metrology which treats units of weightment and measurement, methods of weightment and measurement and weighing and measuring instruments, in relation to the mandatory technical and legal requirements which have the objects of ensuring public guarantee from the point of view of security and accuracy of the weightments and measurements;"

The Legal Metrology Act, 2009 (1 of 2010) was implemented with effect from 1st April, 2011 the preamble of the act is as follows:

"An act to establish and enforce standards of weights and measures, regulate trade and commerce in weights, measures and other goods which are sold or distributed by weights, measure or number and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto".

So to sell anything in the Indian market one has to comply with the Legal MetrologyAct. Below are the basic requirements:

  • Every unit of weight or measure shall be in accordance with the metric systembased on the international system of units.

  • It also specifies base unit of all product. Some of the base units are:
    1. Length shall be the meter
    2. Mass shall be the kilogram
    3. Time shall be the second and so on

  • Every numeration shall be made in accordance with the decimal system.

  • Person shall quote price, publish advertisement, and indicate quantity of pre-packaged commodity in accordance with this Act.

  • Every reference standard, secondary standard and working standard shall be verified and stamped in such manner and after payment of such fee as may be prescribed.

  • Any transaction of goods, class of goods or undertakings shall be made by such weights, measure or number according to this Act.

  • A product shall be packaged is in specified standard quantities or number and bears thereon such declarations and particulars in such manner as may be prescribed.

Following are the registration requirements:



1. Registration and License mentioned above except Registration under Rule 27 shall have certain validity period after expiry of certain period it should get renewed.

2. It is central based registration, in other words if any entity having registration of one premise and also doing business from other place then it need not to get registered the other place of business also.

3. After getting the registration the concerned entity will comply this law regarding the packaging of product and weights and measure instruments as directed in this Act and Rules thereon.

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