VOLUME 43, ISSUE 07
ISSUE DATE: APRIL 4, 2011
LAW AND PUBLIC SAFETY
DIVISION OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS
OFFICE OF WEIGHTS AND MEASURES
Proposed Readoption: N.J.A.C. 13:47K
Commodities in Package Form; Weights and Measures
Authorized By: Robert J. Campanelli, Acting State Superintendent, Office of Weights and Measures.
Authority: N.J.S.A. 51:1-29 and 51:1-61.
Calendar Reference: See Summary below for explanation of exception to calendar requirement.
Proposal Number: PRN 2011-084.
Submit comments by June 3, 2011 to:
Robert J. Campanelli, Acting State Superintendent
Office of Weights and Measures
1261 Routes 1 and 9 South
Avenel, NJ 07001
The agency proposal follows:
The rules proposed for readoption at N.J.A.C. 13:47K set forth the weights and measures requirements for commodities in package form and provide buyers and sellers of commodities in package form with uniform standards to regulate the transactions. The rules are based on the uniform laws and regulations developed by the National Conference on Weights and Measures, an organization composed of regulatory agencies and commercial businesses involved in weighing and measuring activities sponsored by the National Institute of Standards and Technology in the United States Department of Commerce. In addition, the rules allow commodities in packaged form, produced and/or packaged in New Jersey, to move freely in interstate and intrastate commerce and allow New Jersey merchants to comply with the regulatory schemes of adjoining states, which rules are based on the uniform laws and regulations. The impact of these rules has been positive upon both the public and buyers and sellers of commodities. The rules also benefit consumers from unreasonable shortages in packages and provide accuracy in labeling by protecting them from receiving quantities less than purchased. Manufacturers and packers of commodities in package form benefit from a uniform notice of their responsibilities in the marketplace.
The proposed readoption of N.J.A.C. 13:47K will have a positive impact upon the general public by preventing overcharging because of shortages in packages of commodities sold in package form. The Office is unable to calculate the costs to the regulated community because the readoption of these rules continues the enforcement of standards that have been in place for several decades. While the regulated community bears the financial costs in complying with the packaging and labeling requirements in these rules, the cost is outweighed by the benefit to both the buyers and sellers of commodities. Since these rules are substantially a codification of Federal and industry-recognized standards that have been in existence for many years, the readoption of these rules will not increase packaging costs but will instead maintain them. The Office believes that there will be no additional costs in the enforcement of these rules.
Federal Standards Statement
A Federal standards analysis is not required because the rules proposed for readoption are governed by N.J.S.A. 51:1-29 and 51:1-61. The rules proposed for readoption at N.J.A.C. 13:47K-1.2(a) and (c) and 1.5(a) reference Federal standards related to butter-like and/or margarine-like spreads; oleomargarine and margarine; and non-fluid milk products contained in 9 CFR Part 319, 319.700; 21 USC ßß301 et seq.; and the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance of the U.S. Public Health Service, respectively. The rules proposed for readoption at N.J.A.C. 13:47K-5.2(b)5 contain the same standards as the Federal rules for maximum allowable variations for Federally inspected meat and poultry packages that move in interstate commerce. The Federal rules have been adopted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture pursuant to the Poultry Products Inspection Act and the Meat Inspection Act.
The other rules proposed for readoption voluntarily adopt by reference the standards developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Handbook 133 related to the maximum allowable variations for certain food and nonfood packages in the State of New Jersey.
[page=827] Jobs Impact
The Office believes that the rules proposed for readoption will not result in the creation or loss of jobs in New Jersey.
Agriculture Industry Impact
The rules proposed for readoption will continue to affect the agriculture industry in that agricultural products are occasionally sold at roadside stands as commodities in package form. There is no change from the existing requirements. Owners and operators of such roadside stands will continue to incur the obligations, expenses and fees described in the Summary and Economic Impact above and the Regulatory Flexibility Analysis below.
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis
Currently, the Office estimates that these rules apply to approximately 27,000 businesses licenses. If, for the purposes of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (the Act), N.J.S.A. 52:14B-16 et seq., any of these businesses are considered "small businesses," then the following analysis applies.
Although the rules proposed for readoption do not impose reporting or recordkeeping requirements, they do impose numerous compliance requirements. Subchapter 1 requires that bread, flour and solid or semi-solid milk products must be sold by weight and sets forth the packaging requirements for margarine, milk, other milk products and pickles. Subchapter 2 sets forth the weights and measures requirements for the sale of numerous nonfood products. Subchapter 3 requires that the presentation of price and display for a commodity include a fraction of a cent. Additionally, the rules detail the requirements for allowable differences and combination quantity declarations and set forth the requirements for vending machine dispensed packaged commodities.
Subchapter 4 establishes compliance requirements regarding the marking of commodities in packaged form. The rules detail the declaration of identity, declaration of responsibility, declaration of quantity and prominence and placement requirements for consumer and nonconsumer packages. Additionally, the rules set forth requirements for specific consumer and nonconsumer commodities, packages and containers and establish exemptions for certain commodities and packages from the specific provisions of the subchapter.
Subchapter 5 sets forth the maximum variations allowed below the declared quantity.
The Office believes that no professional services are likely to be needed to comply with the rules proposed for readoption. The Office considers the rules proposed for readoption necessary to preserve the health, safety and welfare of public consumers. The objective of the rules proposed for readoption is to regulate and provide uniformity in the method of sale of commodities in package form and the Office believes that the rules must be applied uniformly to all small businesses without regard to size. Consequently, no lesser requirements or exemptions are provided based upon the size of the business.
Smart Growth Impact
The Office does not believe that the rules proposed for readoption will have any impact on the achievement of smart growth or upon the implementation of the State Development and Redevelopment Plan.
Housing Affordability Impact
The rules proposed for readoption will have an insignificant impact on affordable housing in New Jersey and it is extremely unlikely that the rules would evoke a change in the average costs associated with housing because the rules proposed for readoption concern the requirements for labeling of commodities in the State of New Jersey.
Smart Growth Development Impact
The rules proposed for readoption will have an insignificant impact on smart growth and it is extremely unlikely that the rules would evoke a change in housing production in Planning Areas 1 or 2, or within designated centers, under the State Development and Redevelopment Plan in New Jersey because the rules proposed for readoption concern the requirements for the labeling of commodities in the State of New Jersey.
Full text of the rules proposed for readoption may be found in the New Jersey Administrative Code at N.J.A.C. 13:47K.