Legal Metrology

             LEGAL METROLOGY



Metrology is the Science of Measurement. It includes theoretical & practical problems, the realization of the units of measurement and their physical representation as well as measuring instruments & their field of application. Legal Metrology is the name given to all applied metrology subjected to regulations by law or government decree.

Throughout history, laws have been passed proclaiming that there should be truth and accuracy in weights and measures when goods are traded. Today, all industrialized countries have a government organization responsible for monitoring measurement accuracy, demonstrating the importance societies place on the integrity of measurement to a nation’s economic health and prosperity.

With a view to providing a coherent scheme and uniform standards of Weights & Measures, the first Act namely Standards of Weight &Measurement Act 1956 was enacted based on the metric system and international system of units recognized by International Organization of legal metrology.

The central government time to time amend this act accordingly which first made in 1956, resulting in the Standards of Weights & Measures Act 1976, the regulation made thereunder named as “The Standards of Weights & Measures (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 1977” and The Standards of Weights & Measures (General) Rules, 1987, came into existence, the parliament further enacted The Standards of Weights & Measures (Enf) Act 1985.

The Legal Metrology Act, 2009 (Act 1 of 2010) repeals and replaces the Standard of Weights and Measures Act, 1976 and the Standards of Weights and Measures (Enforcement) Act, 1985. The central government has appointed the date 01.04.2011 from which the provisions of the Act will come into force.

Legal standards of weights and measures of the States and Union Territories are calibrated in the four Regional Reference Standard Laboratories (RRSL) located at Ahmedabad, Bhubaneswar, Bangalore, and Faridabad. These laboratories also provide calibration services to the industries in their respective regions. They are among the recognized laboratories for conducting model approval tests on weights and measuring instruments.

Legislations enacted by Government to regulate Legal Metrology:

1.     The Legal Metrology Act, 2009

2.     The Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011

3.     The Legal Metrology (General) Rules, 2011

4.     The Legal Metrology (Approval of Models) Rules, 2011

5.     The Legal Metrology (National Standards) Rules, 2011

6.     The Legal Metrology (Numeration) Rules, 2011

7.     The Indian Institute of Legal Metrology Rules, 2011

Legal Metrology Act 2009
The Central Government has enacted Legal Metrology Act 2009 which had come into force on 1st April, 2011. This Act rationalizes the units for measurement to be used in India. Act also specifies the Metric System (meter, kilogram, etc.) to be used. It regulates the manufacture, sale, and use of standard weights and measures.

The Legal Metrology Act, 2009 replace the Standards of Weights and Measures Act, 1976 and the Standards of Weights and Measures (Enforcement) Act, 1985. It also provides for establishing uniform standards of weights and measures regulate trade in weights and other goods which are sold or distributed by weight, measure, or number.

The Central Govt. may appoint a Director of Legal Metrology to perform duties related to inter-state trade and commerce. The State Govt. may appoint a Controller of Legal Metrology to perform duties related to intra-state trade and commerce.

A person has to get approval of the model of a weight or a measure before manufacturing or importing it by the competent authority. Also, an importer has to register with the concerned Director.

Every manufacturer, repairer, and seller shall have to obtain a license from the respective Controller. The Act allows Govt. approved test centers to verify weights and measures.

The Central Govt. shall have the power to make rule.


The Legal Metrology Act, 2009, inter alia, provides for,—

a)     Regulation of weight or measure used in the transaction or for protection

b)      Approval of model of weight or measure

c)      Verification of prescribed weight or measure by Government approved Test Centre

d)      Prescribing qualification of legal metrology officers appointed by the Central Government or State Government

e)      Exempting regulation of weight or measure or other goods meant for export

f)       Levy of fee for various services

g)      Nomination of a Director by a company who will be responsible for complying with the provisions of the enactment

h)      Penalty for offences and compounding of offenses

i)       Appeal against decision of various authorities

j)       Empowering the Central Government to make rules for enforcing the provisions of the enactment.



 By Vaibhav verma, Legal intern

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