Checking net content of packaged commodities

The Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011

Definition of net quantity

"net quantity", in relation to commodity contained in a package, means the quantity by weight, measure or number of such commodity contained in that package, excluding the packaging or wrapper. [Rule 2(f)]

Net content of a package is checked in terms of Rule 19 of the Packaged Commodities Rules, 2011.

During net content checking it is verified whether the quantity contained in the package corresponds to the quantity declared on such packages or any label affixed thereto. In case of any deficiency, it should be limited to the MPE (maximum Permissible Error) prescribed under the First Schedule. However, the statistical average of the lot checked should not have any deficiency.



Adding something free

Net content of this package will be checked for 125 g (not 100 g), allowing error up to 5.7 g (4.5%) in deficiency (Table 1 of the First Schedule)

Inspection of quantity and error in packages

Conditions for Approval of Sale [Rule 19]

A lot of packages will be approved for sale by a LMO if the following conditions are satisfied after an inspection/test is conducted:

  1. The statistical average of the net content is not less than the declared quantity.
  2. The extent of deficiency in any individual package shall not be more than the MPE.
  3. Each of the packages bear the statutory declarations.

 
Where the Inspection or tests may be held

The Director, the Controller or any Legal Metrology Officer may examine the packages and carry out tests

  • Ordinarily, at the premises of the manufacturer or packer. [Rule 19(1)]
  • At the premises of the wholesale or retail dealer when a complaint is received or there is reason to suspect that there are packages which do not conform to the standard set by the Rules.
    [Rule 21(1)]

Sequences of Inspection

  1. Draw samples from a lot in accordance with the Fifth Schedule
  2. Carry out tests in accordance with the Sixth Schedule
  3. Record detailed results of the tests in the Form given in the Seventh Schedule.
  4. Obtain the signature of the manufacturer or packer his authorized agent. In their absence or refusal, obtain the signature of a witness.
  5. Hand over a copy of the result sheet to the manufacturer or packer or agent.

 
The Fifth Schedule (Selection of Samples)

  • Draw adequate number of samples from the batch.
  • The samples should be drawn at random -from left, right, top, bottom, front, rear and centre of the stock.

Batch Size
Sample Size
Less than 4000
32
More than 4000
80

Action on the detailed report.

When the detailed report shows:

  1. the statistical average of the sample is less than the declared quantity, or
  2. any package of the sample shows an error in deficiency greater than the MPE, or
  3. any package does not bear all the statutory declarations in the prescribed manner,

Actions to be taken under Rule 19:

  1. The manufacturer/packer shall make a cent per cent check of the tested lot and pick out packages which conform to the Rules. Such packages will be re-cheked by the LMO. [sub rule 5]
  2. Packages found to be satisfactory shall be allowed to sell. [sub rule 5(b)]
  3. Packages which do not conform to the standard, shall not be allowed to sell unless re-packed or re-processed to comply with the standards.
    [sub rule 5(c)]
  4. The manufacturer/packer may opt for a fresh test and the steps 1 to 3 will be repeated, if the fresh test also fails. [sub rule 4]
  5. Five representative samples will be seized as evidence and action will be initiated for violation of provisions of the Act and the Rules.
    [sub rule 8]

Provision for fresh test

Rule 19 (4)(b)

If it is found that the packages bear all the statutory declarations in approved manner but, net content is less than the prescribed quantity, the manufacturer or the packer may request fresh test.

Fresh tests may be carried out when

  1. The manufacturer or the packer forward good and sufficient reason and
  2. deposit a fee of Rs. 2500.00
Fresh tests should be carried out out on a fresh sample.

No penal action will be initiated if the result of the fresh test is found to be satisfactory. Rule 20(1)(b)(ii) proviso]

Net Content Checking at Dealers' premises

Checking net content is not normally held in a dealer's premises. However, when a complaint is received or there is a ground for suspicion that there are packages which do not conform to the standard:

  1. (a)At the premises of a wholesale or retail dealer, the inspection may be held to find out if any of the packages contains an error which is more than the MPE
    (b) Such packages should be seized and action would be initiated.
  2. There is no provision for checking statistical average of net content at dealers' premises, but, when a package shows deficiency within the MPE, the dealer will be allowed to sale the package at a proportionately reduced price.
  3. If during the inspection, it is found that the packages do not bear statutory declarations, an enquiry should be held to find out the source of such packages.

Deceptive Packages to be seized under Rule 23

When a package is so designed without any particular reason, to give the consumer a false or misleading impression that it contains more quantity which it actually has, is called a deceptive package.

Such packages should be seized and action taken unless they are re-packed or re-labeled.

Procedure for Determination of the Net Quantity as per The Sixth Schedule

Equipment Required

  • Working standard weights and balance should be used.
  • Verified weights and balance of the factory may also be used if their MPE is within 20% of the MPE for the product.

Forms Required

  • Copy of the First Schedule (the MPE Chart)
  • Data sheet: The Seventh Schedule VII
    Form A for weight checking
    Form B for others

Net Content Checking of items sold by weight

  • Weigh an empty tare package (wrappers) or tear open one of the selected sample and weigh the emptied tare package.
  • Note the tare weight (T)
  • The value of T should be equal or less than 3/10th of the MPE for the product.
  • If not, select 5 empty packages and note their maximum and minimum value.
  • If the difference is equal or less than 4/10 of the MPE, calculate the mean of weights.
  • If either of the conditions is satisfied, the tare will be accepted.
  • Note the Declared weight (D) and Gross Weight (G) of each sample packet.
  • Fill up Form A

Net Content Checking of items sold by volume

(Fruit juice, Mineral Water etc where it is feasible to use a Volume Measure)

  • Check the content of each package by a volume measure.
  • Fill up Form B. [Substitute Weight by Volume of Form A]

Net Content Checking of items sold by volume only

(Paints etc.) where measurement by using capacity measure is not feasible.

  • Ask the manufacturer or dealer to declare specific gravity and on refusal determine it.
  • Weight = Sp. Gravity X Volume.
  • Check the content on the basis of weight.

Net Content Checking of items sold by volume and weight

(Edible Oils, Vanaspati, Ghee, Butter Oil etc)

  • Some items are sold by volume but weight is also required to be declared
    under the Fourth Schedule
  • Such items should be checked on the basis of weight.
  • Fill up Form B.

Determination of Sp. Gravity: A simple method

  • Take a piece of stone or paper weight.
  • Take its weight in air, water and the substance under examination.
  • Calculate loss of weight in water (W).
  • Calculate loss of weight in the substance (L).
  • Sp. Gravity = L / W.

Example

  • A glass rod weighs 200 g in air.
  • It weighs 29 g in water.
  • So, it losses 171 g in water (W).
  • The same rod weighs 57 g in alcohol.
  • The loss of weight in Alcohol is 143 g( L).
  • The Sp. Gravity of Alcohol is L/W = 143/171 or 0.836.

Net Content Checking of items sold by Length or Area

  • A calibrated steel tape of suitable length shall measure the length of required sides.
  • Form B will be used.

Net Content Checking of items sold by Number (N)

  • Physically count the number of commodities in the package.
  • Form B will be used.

The First Schedule

Maximum Permissible Error on net content declared by weight / volume.

Table I

Sl no Declared quantity (g or ml) Maximum permissible Error (±)
    As % of declared quantity g or ml
(i) up to 50 9 . .
(ii) 50 to 100 . . 4.5
(iii) 100 to 200 4.5 . .
(iv) 200 to 300 . . 9
(v) 300 to 500 3 . .
(vi) 500 to 1 000 . . 15
(vii) 1 000 to 10 000 1.5 . .
(viii) 10 000 to 15 000 . . 150
(ix) Above 15 000 1.0 . .

Quantity derived from percentage should be rounded off to:

Maximum Permissible Error on net content declared by length / area / number.

Table II

Sl no Declared quantity Maximum permissible Error (±)
(i) In units of length 2% of declared quantity up to 10 metres
and thereafter 1%
(ii) In units of area 4% of the declared quantity up to 10 sq. metres and thereafter 1%.
(iii) By numbers 2% of declared quantity

The Seventh Schedule

Format of Form A (Weight Checking Data Sheet)


Part A: Particulars of Package
Name of Manufacturer / Packer Address Price Month Year
   

     
Part B: Commodity Classification
Lot Size Sample Size Maximum Permissible Error in %
     
Part C: Weight Checking Data
Sample No Gross Weight Tare Weight Net Weight / Error Remarks
1
2
--
--
200
 

     
Part D (Results)
Declared Weight Average Weight
   
Part E (General Comments with regard to Compliance of Acts and Rules.)




 
Part F
Signature / date / Name and Designation of the Inspecting Officer with Seal. Signature, name of the authorized person of the manufacturer or packer with seal / Witness
 


 



Format of Form B (Volume/Length Checking Data Sheet)


Part A: Particulars of Package
Name of Manufacturer / Packer Address Price Month Year
   

     
Part B: Commodity Classification
Lot Size Sample Size Maximum Permissible Error in %
     
Part C: Volume/ length Checking Data
Sample No Declared Volume/Length Actual Volume/Length Error Remarks
1
2
--
--
200
 

     
Part D (Results)
Declared Volume/Length Average Volume/Length
   
Part E (General Comments with regard to Compliance of Acts and Rules.)




 
Part F
Signature / date / Name and Designation of the Inspecting Officer with Seal. Signature, name of the authorized person of the manufacturer or packer with seal / Witness