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India introduces new packaging regulations for FMCG companies

The Indian government has relaxed the standardized packaging norms and made it mandatory for fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies to pack and sell products such as biscuits and milk powder in standard packaging sizes.

The government has modified the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules 2011, following complaints regarding unfair reduction in the quantity of packaged products from some consumer organisation, PTI said.

Expected to come into force from 1 November 2012, the revised norms will bar the sale of 19 categories of FMCG products in sachets/packs of irregular sizes such as 65, 73, 85, 92, 175, 425 (grams/millilitre). It is also mandatory for the companies to adhere to standardized packaging of 25, 50, 100 and multiples of 100 units (gm/ml), as per the new norms.

The products that need to be packed and sold in standard pack sizes include baby food, weaning food, biscuits, bread, butter, coffee, tea, cereals, pulses, milk powder, salt, edible oils, rice and wheat flour, aerated soft drink, drinking water, cement and paints.

According to analysts, due to the relaxation in norms, FMCG companies such as ITC, Tata, Hindustan Unilever, Britannia, Parle, Dabur and others find it easy to switch to the uniform packaging norms that have been prescribed for selling their products.