The Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution vide its order dated 23rd June, 2017 brought in amendments to the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011 in the backdrop of e-marketplaces causing new and complex consumer protection issues regarding information deficiency. The amended rules are now effective from 1st January, 2018 in which substantive changes were introduced to increase online consumer protection such that they are protected at par with offline consumers.
- Mandatory declarations which are to be made on the label of goods also include:
- For the imported products- ‘country of origin/manufacture/assembly’.
- For commodities that may become unfit for human consumption- ‘best before or use by the date, month and year’ must be mentioned in the label.
- The MRP must clearly indicate that it is inclusive of all the taxes and the process must be rounded off to the nearest rupee or 50 paise.
- All the mandatory declarations (except the month and year in which the commodity is manufactured or packed) must be displayed on the digital and electronic network used for e-commerce transactions.
- Additional declarations such as Barcode, GTIN, QR code, e-code, logos of government schemes is now discretionary.
- Manufacturer/Seller/Dealer/Importer is liable for the correctness of the declarations in a market place model of e-commerce in certain instances.
- Increased font size in the declarations.
- No manufacturer or packer or importer shall declare different maximum retail prices on an identical pre-packaged commodity.
- Medical devices declared as drugs cannot be exempted from any of the rules.
- A uniform penalty of five thousand rupees is imposed as punishment for contravening any of the provisions.