ABOVE: Precious Metals Commission President Huw Daniel (right) chairing the body’s session at the CIBJO Congress in Bahrain on November 19, 2019. He is joined on the podium by Karina Ratzlaff (centre), Vice President of the Precious Metasl Commission, and Tiffany Stevens, President of the Ethics Commission.
NOVEMBER 20, 2019
Over the past half year, the U.S. government, led by the State Department, has been signalling its intention to carry out government’s increased scrutiny of the jewellery trade, to ensure that it is complying with Anti-Money Laundering and other measures to prevent malign activity.
During the session of the Precious Metals Commission at the 2019 CIBJO Congress on November 19, the body’s president, Huw Daniel, invited Ethics Commission President and Jewelers Vigilance Committee CEO and President Tiffany Stevens to present a report on the situation as it effects the precious metals sector in the United States.
The US State Department is considering origin sourcing and compliance, she said, adding that companies will need to show full documentation. “That sounds fantastical,” she commented. “It sounds great in theory, but impossible to implement.”
“The worst case scenario would be making it a reality, especially if it was announced by Presidential Executive Order and not via a policy decision since that would give us less time to react.
“There could also be a punitive part in failing to comply. I am not being dramatic. This has been told to us.”
Meanwhile, the best case scenario would be if the JVC knows what is in policymakers’ minds. “In general, we would recommend a strong anti-money laundering (AML) programme. Be part of the Responsible Jewellery Council’s (RJC) certification programme or a third-party programme that shows you are operating correctly and in good faith,” she added.
Moving on, Mr Daniel said the Commission has been updating the Blue Book which was last reviewed in 2010. In addition, it has canvassed all countries on the fineness standards used.
In comments from the floor, it was reported that the European Chemical Agency has proposed changes relating to the handling of silver which will create problems regarding the manufacture of silver jewellery. The European Precious Metals Association has criticised the proposal on the basis of the weakness of the data supporting the proposed changes.