Sticking MRP Labels - Customs not to allow please

Customs to stop allowing clearance of imported goods on which individual MRP labels are pasted and not printed.

Ref. No. 100405 Dated: 1.1.11.

Sub: SWM Act – Customs allows affixing of individual sticker labels on imported packages

Original reference: No. 100405 dated 7.4.2010 – Grievance Redressal Mechanism Registration No. DOCAF/E/2010/00174 – 7 Apr 2010 Received by Department of Consumer Affairs

Please refer to the email sent on Fri, Dec 31, 2010 at 10:34 PM, rashmi tripathi <rashmi.core@gmail.com> to right informer@gmail.com by Sh. Neetu, Manager-Complaints,  Core Centre CPGRAMS, stating

 “the complaint which had filed in CPGRAMS, has came to us, kindly let us know the status of the complaint so that we may take further action at our end.We assure you to make every effort for resolution of your complaint. If it is still pending kindly provide Complete details of your complaint & complete postal address, email address of opposite party. Give your reply within Three days.” 

     The subject matter is reproduced hereunder in full for remedial action which is still pending.  Two sample photographs showing MRP labels pasted are also attached. (Photographs may please be kept confidential since they have the importers’ identity).  The Department of Consumer Affairs, which has received the original communication through CPGRAMS is yet to take appropriate action in this regard.

Full Text of Letter dated 7.4.2010

01. Rule 6.1B of Standards of Weights and Measures Packaged Commodities Rules 1977 as amended says that it shall not be permissible to affix individual stickers labels on the package for altering or making declaration required under these rules.  Central Board of Excise and Customs had also issued instructions to field Customs formations vide Para 4 of F. No. 450.90.2005 Cus IV dated 01.09.2005 to ensure that that declarations are not in the form of individual stickers which is not allowed under the Rules.

02. We find that the declarations are invariably printed on the packages of indigenous products and the law is enforced strictly.  But imported packages are found pasted with individual stickers which are allowed clearance by customs.  This amounts to selective enforcement of law which is our grievance to be redressed. 

03. Most often, the imported packages are intentionally pasted with removable individual labels which after customs clearance are removed and replaced with another sticker to sell at higher MRP and also to get any one or more of the following benefits. 

a. The importer pays only a pittance of the duty by pasting a label declaring very low MRP which he replaces with another after clearance. There is huge loss of revenue to government in Customs Duty CVD and VAT even to the extent of 2000 percent. Benefited by the low tax incidence the frauds put up a tough competition against the fair trader of indigenous products by selling at lower price and eventually push the indigenous manufacturing industries to down their shutters.

b. False description of goods or false Country of Origin are declared on individual MRP labels and pasted on packages to overcome import licensing restrictions.  This also helps the frauds to evade Anti Dumping Duty.  These consignments often get facilitated in the RMS without any assessment examination or inspection.

c. Smuggled or spurious goods are pasted with bogus MRP stickers and sold in the market as if they are imported or genuine goods thereby cheating consumers.

04. There is no mechanism to check whether the same individual MRP labels pasted on the packages at the time of Customs Clearance continue to be on the package at the time of sale.  The month and year of import mentioned in such labels is insufficient to conclusively prove that the packages were imported under a particular Bill of Entry.  Taking advantage of this, many traders are engaged in this fraud by making thedeclaration on a sticker, paste it on the package, get customs clearance and then replace it with another label with whatever details they wish before putting up for sale. 

05. Customs officers are not Authorised Officers to exercise the powers and discharge the functions under the Legal Metrology Act 2009 but are only saddled with the responsibility to ensure compliance of the law in respect of imported goods. Moreover it appears that no authority is empowered under the Act or given the discretion to permit pasting of individual MRP stickers and such packages are not allowed to enter the Indian market.  The field Customs officers are not vested with powers to allow importers to meddle with the goods before customs clearance in order to comply with requirement of Law.  It is felt that permitting the importers to paste individual declaration labels and granting customs clearance might amount to abetting contravention of the Rule.  The customs officers ought to hand over cases of contravention to the Authorised Officers under the Act for taking action according to law. 

06. Customs should stop granting clearance of import packages on which the declaration is made by pasting individual stickers or labels contrary to law and thereby the selective enforcement of law has to end. 

07. Suitable measures may please be taken urgently.



01. Rule 6.1B of Standards of Weights and Measures Packaged Commodities Rules 1977 as amended says that it shall not be permissible to affix individual stickers labels on the package for altering or making declaration required under these rules.  Central Board of Excise and Customs had also issued instructions to field Customs formations vide Para 4 of F. No. 450.90.2005 Cus IV dated 01.09.2005 to ensure that that declarations are not in the form of individual stickers which is not allowed under the Rules.

02. We find that the declarations are invariably printed on the packages of indigenous products and the law is enforced strictly.  But imported packages are found pasted with individual stickers which are allowed clearance by customs.  This amounts to selective enforcement of law which is our grievance to be redressed.

Sir, Repeated error message pops up even though no such character is found in the contents or elsewhere.  Hence we have truncated our grievance.  We may be intimated the email id of the official to whom we will send the full grievance.

Principal Educator, Right Information International Forum

Online Grievance Registration in CPGRAMS

Registration No: DOCAF/E/2010/00174 – Name: Right Information International Forum  - Received by: Department of Consumer Affairs Action Status:  Received the Grievance - Date of Action: 07/04/2010  Action Taken Reply received from Weights & Measures Deptt., New Delhi  vide No. F. Hq/W&M/2011/Misc./393 dated 27.5.2011 - Copy of above grievance sent to Dr. A. K. Sharma, AD, Legal Metrology, Weights & Measures Unit, Deptt of Consumer Affairs, Min.of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Krishi Bhavan, New Delhi-110001 and All the Zonal Officers, W&MD, Govt.of NCT of Delhi.

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