The Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) has undertaken a sensitization initiative for border communities in the Mano River Union (MRU) region - which comprises the countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Côte d'Ivoire - to raise awareness of the Kimberley Process requirements and strengthen local capacity to monitor the flow of diamonds.
Today, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) and the Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) have announced they will join forces in rolling out an industry-wide Know-Your-Customer (KYC) exchange platform, MyKYCBank. The MyKYCBank platform, which had been launched by the GJEPC through an independent subsidiary, provides a centralized platform for companies in the industry to complete and manage their KYC in line with global standards. Users can easily and quickly share their own KYC data among trade connections as well as banks and othe
In the midst of a five-day Belgian State visit to India, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) - umbrella organization for the Antwerp diamond industry - joined hands with its Indian counterpart, the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), to host a roundtable discussion today (Nov. 9) in Mumbai concerning the contributions of the diamond industry to social and economic development.
JCK's Rob Bates writes about a recent anti-money laundering compliance oversight that cost Richmont - through one of its Cartier stores - $384,000 in a settlement with the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). "On four separate occasions between 2010 and 2011, an individual purchased jewelry from Cartier boutiques in California and Nevada", but the Cartier shops involved neglected to identify the company to which the jewelry was shipped - Shuen Wai Holdings Limited in Hong Kong - as being on the blocked list.
In response to Global Witness’ recent report, “An Inside Job”, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) stated today it denounces the NGO’s accusations that European sanctions may have violated by the sale of Zimbabwean diamonds, originating from the Chinese-owned Anjin mining company, in Antwerp between December 2013 and September 2014.
Following the end of year 2016 in which poor sales performance and management changes were overshadowed by the reemergence of allegations of rampant sexual harassment and discrimination, Signet Jewelers is clearly making an effort to polish its i
JCK's Rob Bates conducted an in-depth and personal interview with Cecilia Gardner, who recently stepped down after 18 years as president and CEO of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee, a not-for-profit trade association dedicated to compliance with laws pertaining to the jewelry industry.
Back in February, the Gems & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) hosted the "Diamond Financing 2017: New Opportunities, New Realities" seminar coinciding with the 2017 Presidents Meeting, the biannual gathering of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB). Avi Krawitz reports on the proceedings: "The bankers still view diamonds as a high-risk sector. Representatives from the diamond trade, meanwhile, feel there has been significant progress in improving the industry’s level of compliance, transparency and so-called bankability.
The European Parliament last week approved a draft regulation intended to prevent the minerals trade from funding conflict and human rights violations in Africa. If adopted, this “conflict minerals” law will oblige all but the smallest EU importers of tin, tungsten, tantalum, gold and their ores from conflict and high-risk areas to do "due diligence" checks on their suppliers, and big manufacturers will also have to disclose how they plan to monitor their sources to comply with the rules. Authorities in EU member states will be responsible for ensuring compliance by companies.
The Israel Diamond Exchange and Israel Diamond Manufacturers Association sent a letter to Israeli traders Diamond companies in Israel have been granted another two months to voluntarily disclose their assets, inventory and unreported income to the Tax Authority, writes Rapaport News. The trade organizations informed their members that firms have until the end of February to submit the full report of disclosures, as long as they declared their intention to do so by December 29.
The 50TH Annual General Body Meeting (AGM) of The Gem & Jewellery Export Council (GJEPC), held on December 20, 2016, took some significant decisions, according to a press release. For one, the body approved changes in its code of ethics, necessary to complete the process of the GJEPC induction as a member into the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB). The AGM also approved the formation of the Trade Disciplinary Committee (TDC) by the GJEPC, together with the Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB) and the Mumbai Diamond Merchants’ Association (MDMA).
The Administrative Decision [AD] on the Central African Republic [Temporary Suspension] of May 23, 2013 was modified by the 2015 AD of July 17, 2015 concerning the defining conditions for Central African Republic’s (CAR) resumption of trade in rough diamonds from “compliant zones”. Under the supervision of the Kimberley Process Monitoring Team, a forensic audit needs to be conducted of the rough diamond stockpiles held in the CAR per the criteria set forth in the KP's Operational Framework Agreement.
We endorse the need for an ‘on-the-ground’ approach in countries which have been subject to sanctions.
The London Diamond Bourse (LDB) has announced that it is now a member of the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC). This makes LDB the first diamond bourse in the world to join the standards and certification organization. The LDB said its council of management unanimously voted to apply to join the RJC and will now undertake an independent audit to achieve full RJC certification, LDB said in a statement.
Today proves our determination to strengthen our efforts to prevent armed groups around the world from using trade in minerals to finance their activities and propagate conflict. This regulation will put into practice the EU's commitments to this effect. At the same time, no additional red tape for European companies that trade respecting the rules, while EU citizens can be assured that their purchases do not affect human rights in conflict-ridden countries."
The Namibian newspaper has raised concerns that a new government independent sales company called Namib Desert Diamonds (Namdia), which is designated to sell stones worth over an estimated US$150 million (N$2.1 billion) per year as stipulated by a 10-year agreement between De Beers and the Namibian government, is allegedly operating without the desired level of transparency when it comes to selling Namibian resources.
The Kimberley Process (KP) has declared three new ‘compliant zones’ in the Central African Republic, meaning diamond exports from those regions can resume after a suspension of more than two years, writes Rapaport News following a statement by the KP. The KP’s monitoring team approved shipments from the sub-prefectures of Boda, Carnot and Nola in the west of the country on September 19, the KP announced. KP Chair Ahmed Bin Sulayem has communicated the decision to all KP participants and observers.
After years of discussion between the Antwerp diamond industry and the Belgian Government, in 2015 it was decided to introduce the “Diamond Regime” tax system, pending European Commission approval. Today the EC announced that the fiscal regime does not constitute State aid, and gave the green light to what has come to be known as the "Carat Tax". Implementation of this new tax regime will put an end to complex discussions between the Antwerp diamond industry and tax authorities on the control and valuation of diamond traders' stock.
ALROSA, the world leader in diamond mining, has become a member of the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) since 11 August 2016, writes RJC in a press release. "Consumers around the world are giving great importance to the origin of diamonds in jewelry. We believe it is important to demonstrate to the consumer that diamond mining is a socially responsible business that creates jobs, supports local communities and cares about the environment.
We at ABN AMRO support initiatives that create more insight into the value chain, its key players, engages with the right side of the market and excludes areas which show less transparency or no willingness to learn and improve. We see other banks doing the same more and more. In the end there will only be credit lines available for companies with good corporate standards and track record, whether they are small or big doesn't matter ... We expect more consolidation and certain companies going out of business.
In a major, even historic development, the United States will be guaranteeing loans to diamond manufacturers in Botswana. Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government's development finance institution that, "mobilizes private capital to help solve critical development challenges and in doing so, advances U.S. foreign policy", has today issued a press release announcing a financial partnership to provide access to credit for Botswana’s diamond cutting and polishing industry.
The situation in Zimbabwe's diamond mining industry following the recent forced closure of seven mining companies and the subsequent merger of their assets into the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) has gone from poor to positively chaotic, insiders say.
The system at the Israeli Diamond Exchange in Ramat Gan is built on trust, yet the arrest of veteran diamantaire Hanan Abramovich triggering an investigation into accusations that he defrauded fellow traders of $65m worth of money and stones, writes Financial Times, threatens to have a direct effect on traders who have allegedly lost out.
Following a series of defaults that rocked the industry since January 2016, involving amount to the tune of over $60mn by parties in Mumbai and Surat, the Surat Diamond Association (SDA) has urged diamond traders and manufacturers in Surat to implement 'know your customer (KYC)' norms before dealing in precious diamonds with anyone, reported the Times of India.
Venezuela concluded a week of meetings with representatives of the Kimberley Process on Friday in what has been hailed as the final steps towards the South American country’s recertification as an international producer of non-conflict diamonds, reports venezuelanalysis.com.
GEMKonnect takes a look at the intial fallout from the 42-day jewelers strike that provisionally ended last week. One short-term consequence is that, "Jewelers in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, who reopened their retail outlets after the 42-day jewelers strike was called off, are reporting that they are unable to meet customer demands as there is currently an acute shortage of artisans to fabricate jewelry. The jewelry artisans, many of them daily wage earners, have reportedly returned to their villages as they were unable to stay in cities without any income.
The Antwerp World Diamond Centre has forwarded an alert from Kimberley Process authorities about a fake KP certificate issued from Sierra Leone. The warning reads:
Cecilia Gardner, who has headed the Jewelers Vigilance Committee for the past 18 years, will step down as president and CEO at the beginning of 2017, though she will likely continue to serve in a different role, JCK reports. She also serves as the body's general counsel, but it is not clear if she will continue in that role. Gardner told JCK that she wants to remain in the organization and the industry, but her new role is still being discussed.
The United Arab Emirates received a shipment from Cameroon, which was declared to the UAE Customs. Upon inspection they noticed that the KP Certificate accompanying the shipment was fake. Cameroon authorities confirmed this. The document was uploaded on the restricted side of the KP website as well. The KP has therefore called on all its members to be vigilant regarding shipments of rough diamonds accompanied by a Cameroon KP certificate.
Diamonds are an emotional product and it is our collective responsibility as an industry to provide consumers with confidence in the diamonds they purchase. De Beers supports robust and aligned standards in the jewelry industry that ensure that the supply chain is monitored and provenance is assured. We are therefore pleased that our sightholders can demonstrate compliance to the Responsible Sourcing Protocol for Diamonds through the Best Practice Principles.
The National reports that UAE is ready to back a bid by Venezuela to return to the international diamond trading community, said Ahmed bin Sulayem, chairman of the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre, after a series of meetings in the country. Mr bin Sulayem is the new chairman of the Kimberley Process (KP), the regulatory regime for the global diamond trade. Venezuela, rich in the gems but facing a financial meltdown as a result of low oil prices, wants to resume diamond trading after a seven-year halt.
UAE's Ministry of Economy (MoE), and the Dubai Multi-Commodities Centre (DMCC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to support and enhance cooperation and coordination between the two sides concerning the supervision of imports, exports and transit of rough diamonds to and from the country, in line with the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) on the international trade of rough diamonds and in accordance with European Union Law. The MoU is part of joints efforts by the MoE and DMCC to ensure optimal implementation of the KPCS, under which official certificates are issue
Vinod Kuriyan, Chief Editor of GEMKonnect, in response to the Civil Society Coalition's announcement that they will boycott the Kimberley Process in 2016 due to dissastifaction with U.A.E.'s chairmanship, writes that it is high time for the KP to reconnect with civil society.
And it lay on my fever'd spirit with a touch of infinite calm.
It quieted pain and sorrow like love overcoming strife,
It seem'd the harmonious echo from our discordant life.
The Belgian authorities at AWDC’s Diamond Office have alerted the Kimberley Process team about a fake KP certificate from Sierra Leone that was confirmed by the Sierra Leone authorities. The KP has therefore called on all its members to be vigilant regarding shipments of rough diamonds accompanied by a Sierra Leone KP certificate. As for the certificate itself: the numbering on the certificate (4306) was a number range used in 2014. The parcel number is also incorrect. This number always ends with the certificate number; in this case it ends with the number 4911(JMI/GGDO/4199).
Back on May 20, the European parliament issued a surprising vote in favor of enforcing an obligatory monitoring system for the whole supply chain of conflict minerals, affecting 800,000 European companies. The measure entails that European gold, tantalum (the material that makes mobile phones vibrate), tungsten and tin imports from conflict zones will be subjected to tougher surveillance procedures.
The InSight Crime foundation, in the latest of many reports over the years, writes that the Cinta-Larga indigenous group in Brazil is on the brink of collapse as a result of illegal mining in one of the world's (unconfirmed) largest diamond deposits in Roosevelt. The peak of the diamond rush in Roosevelt occurred in 2004, when there were more than 5,000 miners in the region. It was interrupted after the deaths of 29 miners. Since then, mining operations in the area have been closed and reopened on several occasions.
On October 5, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released their long awaited Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) outcomes report, containing the OECD’s proposals for new rules to combat tax evasion by multinationals, and transfer pricing in particular. It represents the first major corporate reform in a century, targeting offshore tax havens and the multinational companies that use them to avoid corporate tax, and aims to raise $250bn.
In a press release, Sodiam C.A.R. - a diamond buying company registered in the Central African Republic - has responded to Amnesty International's report of September 29, "Chains of Abuse", which uses CAR as a case study to examine the diamond supply chain. The report includes criticisms of Sodiam C.A.R.'s activities since the suspension of the Kimberley Process in the CAR, alleging that the company failed to ensure that all the diamonds it purchased were acquired from lawful sources, and that there is a "high risk" that they purchased diamonds that have funded armed groups.
The Basel Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Index report developed by the Basel Institute on Governance ranks countries according to their risk of money laundering and terrorist financing. The Basel AML Index overall score is derived from 14 indicators based on publicly available sources such as the Financial Action Task Force, Transparency International, the World Bank and the World Economic Forum. Finland’s financial system is the least likely to be used for money laundering or funding terrorism, followed by Estonia. Iran and Afghanistan are rated the worst at stopping money laundering.