U.S. Code of Federal Regulations

Regulations most recently checked for updates: Apr 18, 2019

§ 12.1 - Introduction.

(a) These procedures apply to the discharge of the responsibility given to the Secretary of Commerce by sections 5(d) and 5(e) of the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (Pub. L. 89-755, 80 Stat. 1299), hereinafter called the “Act”. The word “Secretary”, as used hereinafter, shall refer to the Secretary of Commerce or his authorized delegate.

(b) The Secretary does not have the responsibility or the authority under the Act to issue any regulations governing the packaging or labeling practices of private industry.

(c) The Secretary does have the responsibility and authority to:

(1) Determine whether the reasonable ability of consumers to make value comparisions with respect to any consumer commodity or reasonably comparable consumer commodities is impaired by undue proliferation of the weights, measures, or quantities in which such commodity or commodities are being distributed in packages for sale at retail.

(2) Request manufacturers, packers, and distributors, where a determination of undue proliferation has been made, to participate in the development of a voluntary product standard under the procedures governing the Department's voluntary standards program.

(3) Report to Congress with a recommendation as to whether legislation providing regulatory authority should be enacted, when after 1 year following the date private industry has been requested to participate in the development of a voluntary product standard it is determined that such a standard will not be published, or when following the publication of such a standard it is determined that the standard has not been observed.

(d) The Act does not furnish a detailed, definitive explanation of “undue proliferation”. It does, however, point out that the condition of “undue proliferation” must be one which “impairs the reasonable ability of consumers to make value comparisons” with respect to consumer commodities. Generally, therefore, the Department will determine “undue proliferation” on a case-by-case basis, and, accordingly, is establishing by these procedures an orderly process for such determinations.

(e) As used hereinafter the term “undue proliferation” shall refer to such undue proliferation - of the weights, measures or quantities in which any consumer commodity or reasonably comparable consumer commodities are being distributed for sale at retail - as impairs the reasonable ability of consumers to make value comparisons with respect to such consumer commodity or commodities, as set out in section 5(d) of the Act.