"Legal metrology" refers to that part of metrology (i.e. the scientific study of measurement) which treats units of weighment and measurement, methods of weighment and measurement and weighing and measuring instruments, in relation to the mandatory technical and legal requirements formulated with the object to ensure the public a guarantee from the point of view of security and accuracy of the weighments and measurements.
However, unlike the definition of Legal Metrology, the laws of Legal Metrology are not merely restricted to governing weighment and measurement, but also focus on consumer awareness by mandating printing of certain compliances and mandatory declarations on the label of a package.
The Commonwealth Countries across the world have great similarity in their laws, since most have their roots coming from the United Kingdom. The laws in Nepal, however, are majorly consumer centric. Where in India, the compliances for Legal Metrology have been exhaustively covered under the Legal Metrology Act, 2009 and its Rules, the situation is Nepal is considerably different.
Legal Metrology laws in Nepal
- Standard Measurement and Weight Act, 2025 (1968) (ACT) : Published in the Nepal Gazette on May 18, 2020, the Act is mainly concerned with units of measurement, inspection and stamping of measurement and weight along with the authenticity of the measuring devices.
- Standard Measurement (Sealed Package) Rules, 2076 (RULES) : The Regulations elaborate on the following: (a) Regulations on standard of package sealed goods, (b) Authentic information that is to be disclosed in Labels of sealed goods, (c) Limits for discrepancy in the standard quantity of packaged goods (d) Onus upon the producer, importer or the Packer to relay accurate information to consumer as well as Office of Standard and Meteorology (e) Type of weighing machine to be kept by Retailer, (f) Powers and duties of the Inspector and Controller .
- Consumer Protection Act, 2075 : It is not only limited to rights of consumer but also provides liability of parties associated to marketing of goods or services which include producer, importer, carrier, hoarder, seller and service provider under Chapter 3 of the Act. The existing Act has defined such parties, their liabilities and means of legal remedies.
- Customs Act, 2007 : The Act imposes certain penalties for products seized in customs found to be non-compliant with the above-mentioned laws.
Though the above four Acts cover all aspects of packaging laws prevalent in Nepal, the Consumer Protection Act, 2075 is more prominent as it also invokes penal actions in case of non-compliance of statutory requirements.
Penalty for Non-Compliance of Legal Metrology Provisions- Nepal
|Standard Measurement and Weight Act 1968 (2025) (ACT)||Any person instigates or abets any other person to do so, or causes any obstruction to the Inspector in the courses of the discharge of his/her duties||Fine upto Rs. One Thousand (Rs. 1,000/-) for each offense|
|An inspector deliberately affixes seals on measures and weights, or measuring and weighing machines in contravention of this Act1||A fine up to One Thousand Rupees or an imprisonment of up to Three Months, or both|
|Consumer Protection Act, 2075||Failure to make the labeling pursuant to Section 6 or mentioning false matters in the label2||Imprisonment from three months to six months or fine up to fifty thousand rupees or both|
|Customs Act, 2007||If exporter, importer or customs agent make declaration with under invoicing despite that the name, nature, physical features, characteristics, measurement, size and quality of goods are accurate||A fine of 100 percent of the value of those goods which have been under-invoiced on the owner of such goods and collecting the chargeable duty|
|If an exporter, importer or customs agent makes declaration falsifying the country of origin despite that the name, nature, physical features, characteristics, measurement, size, quality and quantity of goods are accurate||The Customs Officer may clear such goods by imposing a fine that is equal to the duty chargeable on such goods on the owner of such goods and collecting the chargeable duty|
|If an exporter or customs agent make declaration falsifying all or any details out of the name, nature, physical features, characteristics, measurement, size and quality of goods||The Customs Officer may forfeit such goods and impose a fine that is equal to the amount in controversy on the owner of such goods.|
|If an importer or customs agent makes declaration falsifying the goods or the materials of which the goods are made or falsifying all or any details out of the nature, physical features, characteristics, measurement, size and quality of goods or does not make declaration of any goods3||The Customs Officer may forfeit such goods by imposing a fine that is equal to the value of such goods on the owner of such goods or clear such goods by imposing a fine that is equal to two hundred percent of the value of such goods and collecting the chargeable duty.|
The practice of ensuring effective use of Legal Metrology laws is a big step towards maintaining healthy consumerism and consumer awareness, whilst keeping a strict check on the quality of the products whilst ensuring transparency from the producers, manufacturers and/or importers.
1. Section 30 of Standard Measurement and Weight Act 1968 (2025) (ACT)
2. Section 40 of Consumer Protection Act, 2075
3. Section 57 of Customs Act, 2007
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