India changes jewellery ‘laws’; creates gold hallmarking exemptions

The Indian government has issued guidelines on hallmarking exemptions for gold jewellery and artefacts, in response to protests from industry leaders on easing gold jewellery export and trade practices.

India is one of the largest diamond and jewellery manufacturing and exporting nations in the world, estimated to be around $US40 billion, at pre-COVID-19 levels.

The order, released by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) on 24 December, covered gold jewellery intended for international exhibitions, government-approved domestic business-to-business trading and gold pieces for export and re-import in compliance of its Foreign Trade Policy.

The guidelines also covered three locally-recognised specialised jewellery designs and techniques – Kundan, Polki and Jadaau.

However, “full cut” diamond jewellery is not covered by the exemption amendment.

According to Colin Shah, chairman, Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council, “The new BIS guidelines will make the Hallmarking policy in line with the FTP and also ensure ease of doing business for exporters as hallmarking is an Indian consumer specific regulation and exporters have to comply with the hallmarking regulations of the country to which the goods are exported.”

He explained that the hallmarking policy amendments will strengthen India’s gold jewellery trade and boost exports in the coming year.

“We are in deep gratitude to the government who has been extremely cognizant of our demands and has always boosted our growth in fulfilling the Atmanirbhar Bharat [self-reliant nation] dream,” Shah said.

The policy change is also expected to help achieve the industry’s 2021-2022 export target of $US41.75 billion ($AU57.74 billion).

Gold hallmarking was mandated in India-similar with practices in the United Kingdom and jewellery-producing countries- to determine provenance and instil confidence in jewellery consumers.

More reading
Indian government rules on rough diamond import and export
India introduces mandatory jewellery hallmarking; implications for Australia
Bullion Exchange aims to establish India as gold trading hub

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