What is the Legal Metrology Act?

Author : Elt Corporate | Published On : 05 Feb 2024

The Legal Metrology Act, 2009 is an Act of the Parliament of India enacted for regulations and establishment of standards of weights and measures. Let's understand the key aspects of this Act in detail.

How does the Act regulate weights and measures in India?

The Act provides for establishing and enforcing standards of weights and measures, regulating trade and commerce in weights, measures, and other goods which are sold or distributed by weight, measure, or number. It regulates pre-packaged commodities for quality assurance and establishes a system of inspection to verify the quality of pre-packaged commodities and prohibits the manufacture, packing, wholesale, distribution, sale, and import of pre-packaged commodities which are not by the prescribed standards of weights and measures.

When was the Act enacted and why?

The Legal Metrology Act was enacted in 2009 to replace the Standards of Weights and Measures Act, 1976 and the Standards of Weights and Measures (Enforcement) Act, of 1985. It was enacted to establish uniform standards of weights and measures throughout India to facilitate ease of trade and commerce. The earlier Acts were replaced to keep up with technological advancements and changes in trade practices.

What are the key definitions under the Act?

Some key definitions under the Act include:

  • Legal Metrology - It refers to the science of measurement and the system of weights and measures.

  • Standard Weights and Measures - It refer to the weights, measures and other quantities of mass, dimension, volume, capacity, etc. which are used as reference standards in the country.

  • Pre-packaged Commodity - It refers to a commodity which without the purchaser being present is placed in a package of whatever nature, whether sealed or not, so that the product contained therein has a pre-determined quantity. For the regulation of pre-packaged commodities, you can apply for LMPC registration online.

Is there a Central/State authority to regulate weights and measures?

Yes, the Act provides for the establishment of the following authorities:

  • Central Government - It is responsible for establishing standards of weights and measures, approval of model of weights and measures, coordination between enforcement authorities and more.

  • Director of Legal Metrology - Acts as the Chief Executive Authority at the Central level.

  • State Government - Responsible for enforcement of the Act within the state through State Director and Inspectors.

What are the penalties for non-compliance?

The Act prescribes penalties for non-compliance which may include:

  • Imprisonment up to 1 year or fine up to Rs. 1 lakh or both for first conviction.

  • Imprisonment up to 3 years and fine up to Rs. 3 lakhs for subsequent convictions.

  • Confiscation of goods or packages not conforming to prescribed standards.

  • Cancellation or suspension of license in case of licensee.

So in summary, the Legal Metrology Act establishes a robust framework for regulation of weights and measures in India through a Central-State enforcement mechanism to facilitate fair trade practices.


Is it mandatory for shops to have legal metrology license?

Yes, as per the Act it is mandatory for all shops, establishments, warehouses, etc. which are involved in trade to obtain a license from the State Legal Metrology Department.

What are the penalties for selling underweight goods?

Selling goods in less quantity than the marked quantity or selling underweight goods is a punishable offense under the Act. The penalties include fines, imprisonment, or both as per the nature of offense.

Can a consumer file complaint for discrepancies in weights?

Yes, any consumer can file a complaint with the local Inspector of Legal Metrology in case of any discrepancies found in weights and measures of pre-packaged commodities. The Inspector will investigate and take necessary action.

In conclusion, the Legal Metrology Act plays a pivotal role in protecting consumer interests and ensuring fair trade practices through establishment of standardized weights and measures across India. Regular inspections help curb malpractices and support consumers in getting right quantity at fair prices.