Labeling is an important element for products for exporting/importing a container out of/into the country. Primarily, labeling is the technique of identifying the cargo during the operation till the cargo touches the importer’s doorstep. The label on the consignment also gives information about how the package or product should be used.
Labeling on the product provides the following important information:
• Shipper’s mark
• Country of origin
• Weight marking (in pounds and in kilograms)
• Number of packages and size of cases (in inches and centimeters)
• Handling marks (international pictorial symbols)
• Cautionary markings, such as “This Side Up.”
• Port of entry
• Labels for hazardous materials
In terms of the Ministry of Commerce notification dated November 24, 2000, all pre-packaged commodities (intended for direct retail sale only) imported into India must carry the following declarations on the label:
- Name and address of the importer
- The generic or common name of the commodity packed
- Net quantity of the product in metric system as per standard unit of weights and measurement( If the net quantity of the imported package is given in any other unit, it’s equivalent of standard units must be declared by the importer)
- Month and year of packing in which the commodity is manufactured, packed, or imported, and the maximum retail sales price (MRP) at which the commodity in packaged form may be sold to the end consumer. The MRP includes all taxes, local or otherwise, freight, transport charges, commission payable to dealers, and all charges towards advertising, delivery, packing, forwarding, and any other relevant charges. However, the import of pre-packaged commodities such as raw materials, components, bulk import, etc., that need to undergo further processing before they are sold to end consumers is not included under this labeling requirement.
So compliance with the above-stated requirements must be ensured before the import consignments are cleared by Customs in India.
Do note: Pre-packaged food products meant for institutional use do not require the MRP, but a ‘Not for Retail Sale’ declaration on the label is required.