The legal metrology department under ministry of consumer affairs has issued an advisory for deferring the implementation of the packaging rules amendment issued in May 2015. The department in an advisory stated that the affected industry can now use the old packaging till June 30, 2016. This has been done primarily to clear the old stocks and industry concerned thereby gets time to implement the amendments smoothly.
The new amendments state that the Food Safety and Standards Act 2006 rulings will prevail with respect to retail food packaging.
The amendments to the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules 2015 were issued by the department of consumer affairs in May last year, which were notified and came into force from January 1, 2016.
The department informed that the advisory was issued after a series of representations of industry chambers citing huge stockpile of old packaging and requested the department for time for clearance.
An official with the department stated that since the rules came into force from January 1, 2016, the department through this advisory has made some arrangement for smoother transition from old to new rules. For this period, companies will be allowed to use old packaging and also the industry has been asked to use stickers for some correctable errors while the stock is cleared.
Meanwhile, industry representatives also termed this decision as positive as this would help in saving losses which were otherwise inevitable due to stockpile of old packaged goods. “Overall if we see this issue, it’s a positive move by the regulatory. Big players like Nestle and Hindustan Unilever (HUL) usually plan in advance. Thus, this move will enable FBOs to use their old stocks of packaging films and materials on which the label is printed,” stated Varun Tipnis, assistant manager, sales, Bossar Packaging Pvt. Ltd, Navi Mumbai. He added, “With regards to monetary aspects, the move – giving an extension – has saved industry players from huge losses.”
According to the amendments, the definitions have been made with regards to industrial consumer and institutional consumer. Further, the new rules make it compulsory for the industry to publish contact info for consumer complaint. On imported packages, labels should be fixed according to the required declaration under these rules.
The amendments also talk about making correction like use of word ‘L’ for litre quantity.