Legal Metrology Act 2009: Ascertaining its Significance and Objectives

Legal Metrology Act 2009: Ascertaining its Significance and Objectives
Ankit Dalal
| Updated: Apr 29, 2023 | Category: Legal Metrology

Metrology is the name given to the measurement science. It covers theoretical and applied issues, the physical realisation of units of measurement and their representation, as well as measuring instruments and the fields in which they are used. Legal metrology is any applied metrology that is governed by law or official decree. Every country has a different definition of what legal metrology is. In the majority of countries, legal metrology entails taking measurements to safeguard people’s financial, physical, and environmental health. According to international standards, commercial transactions, measures required to protect human safety and public health, and industrial measurements are the three main application areas for legal metrology. We will attempt to comprehend the significance and purpose of the Legal Metrology Act in this post.

Meaning of Legal Metrology

The Department of Consumer Affairs has an administrative section called Legal Metrology. It refers to the use of procedures, requirements, regulations, and norms on measuring and calculating devices. The Department of Legal Metrology is part of the Government of India’s Department of Consumer Affairs[1], Food and Public Distribution. It is in charge of monitoring India’s import and market for weighing and measuring instruments. Previously, the Department of Weights and Measures was used to refer to the Department for Legal Metrology Laws. But later, the Legal Metrology deed of 2009 replaced the Standard Weights and Measures (Enforcement) deed of 1985 and the Standards of Weight and Measures Act of 1976.

Applicability of Legal Metrology

The following are covered under legal metrology provisions:

  1. Any product related to weight, measure, or number that is produced, sold, repaired, imported, wholesaled, or packed.
  2. People who use any weight or measure in a transaction, an industrial process, or for protection.

Significance of Legal Metrology

As measurement is crucial in any commercial trading business. It is obvious that efficient trade is essential to keeping suppliers and customers in balance. There are certain significance of legal metrology. They are as follows:

  1. Getting government funds: The government earns money through excise fees paid on commodities created, sold, imported, and exported, as well as measurement taxes. The Legal Metrology Act ensures that no injustice is done to the government or enterprises when it comes to tax collection.
  2. Increased consumer faith: When a consumer finds that they are obtaining a product that has been validated in accordance with specific norms and standards, it enhances their faith in the businessman, finally leading to a successful trading connection.
  3. Reduces trade-related technical hurdles: The Legal Metrology Act encourages measurement confidence and transparency while easing the burden of technical barriers. Lessening barriers raises national spirits and motivates citizens to participate in the world economy, which promotes economic development at home. The Legal Metrology Act enables a merchant to remove needless barriers from the adoption and use of technical regulations, standards, and conformity assessment processes.
  4. Reduction in transactional costs: It can be expensive and time-consuming to correct measurement techniques that are inaccurate. Both businesses and consumers are impacted by them. The cost of bringing legal action against a trader who defies measuring laws is also a financial burden. The Legal Metrology Act regulations must be followed while making measurements, which saves time and money.
  5. Trade support: The Legal Metrology Act is in charge of monitoring any unlawful or unfair business practises. With the help of this act, it will be possible to ensure that measuring devices are in excellent functioning order, able to carry out their intended purpose, and in compliance with international standards.

Objectives of Legal Metrology

Below is a list of the Legal Metrology Act’s primary objectives in brief:

  1. To regulate trade: The aim of the Act is to regulate trade and commerce by governing the weights and measures used in such activities, in order to ensure fairness, transparency, and accuracy in transactions.
  2. The establishment of standards and compliance: The Act requires weights and measures to be standardised and enforced. This enhances measurement precision and consistency in a variety of sectors.
  3. Protection of consumer rights and interests: One of the main objectives of the Act is to safeguard the rights and interests of customers. By regulating the use of weights, measurements, and numbers, it prevents unfair practises including using underweight or incorrect measures, misleading packaging, and deceptive pricing.
  4. Ensuring dependability and accuracy: The purpose of the Act is to guarantee the reliability and accuracy of weighing and measuring devices used in business transactions. It specifies requirements for such instruments’ verification, stamping, and recurring re-verification in order to ensure their accuracy.
  5. Increasing the metric system’s logic: The Act aims to encourage and improve the metric system’s adoption in India. It promotes the adoption of predetermined units like the metre, kilogramme, litre, etc., which aids in the development of a trustworthy national measurement system.  
  6. Promoting international trade: The Act complies with standards and guidelines for weights and measures. By adhering to internationally recognised measuring practises, it promotes economic interactions and lowers barriers brought on by discrepancies in measurement systems.
  7. Checking and regulation: The Act gives the authorities the authority to enact and implement legal metrology laws. It also sets means to track compliance with its requirements. This include carrying out audits, pursuing legal action against offenders, and levying fines for noncompliance.
  8. Ensuring honest competition: By prohibiting unfair advantages gained by faulty measurements, misleading quantity representation, or non-compliance with metrology standards, the Act helps to ensure fair competition in the market.

Conclusion

In order to control the use of weights, measures, and numbers in commercial transactions in India, the Legal Metrology Act of 2009 was necessary. It aims to enhance precision, fairness, and consistency in trade and commerce through the standardisation and enforcement of weights and measures, the defence of consumer rights and interests, the promotion of the use of the metric system, and the encouragement of fair competition in the market. The Act’s importance resides in its capacity to raise consumer confidence, eliminate trade-related technical barriers, cut transaction costs, and stimulate commerce while guaranteeing compliance with international standards.

Read our Article:A Complete Analysis of Packer Registration under Legal Metrology

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