The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is enhancing its ‘Know Your Customer’ (KYC) program. As of May 1, the GIA will require all new and current laboratory clients to confirm the identity and ownership of their businesses, and to provide identifying information for all authorized representatives conducting business with GIA on their behalf. "These requirements are recognized globally and are not unique to GIA," reads a statement from the GIA.
“GIA will only conduct business with reputable customers, suppliers and other third parties involved in legitimate business activities whose funds are derived from legitimate sources,” said Elizabeth Keating, GIA’s chief ethics and compliance officer. “As a global Institute, we have a responsibility to make all reasonable efforts to determine the true identity and ownership of client accounts, their source of funds and the nature of their business. This is a global best practice.”
The move toward more vigilant KYC practicers has become more widespread among diamond industry organizations. In December 2017, The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) and India's Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) joined forces in rolling out an industry-wide KYC exchange platform, called MyKYCBank. The Dubai Multi Commodities Cenre (DMCC) joined MyKYCBank a year later, in December 2018. The World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) launched its own KYC initiative in 2016, aimed at increasing transparency in the industry to banks and regulators.