‘Gold hallmarking execution in phases’

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on June 16, 2021

In the first phase, the norms have been enforced in 256 districts

The Consumer Affairs Ministry had decided to implement norms for mandatory hallmarking of gold jewellery and artefacts in a phased manner from Wednesday (June 16) for 14 carats, 18 carats and 22 carats.

In the first phase, the norms have been enforced in 256 districts, where there is at least one assaying marking centre. At the same time, the government has decided not to charge fee from jewellers for registration with BIS, and has also given exemption from the mandatory norms to small jewellers with an annual turnover of ₹40 lakh.

Consumers’ interest

Hallmarking of gold jewellery certifies the purity of the jewellery and has been brought in for protection of consumers’ interest.

Exemptions from the norms have been given to jewellery for exports, re-imports, government-approved B2B domestic exhibition and international exhibitions. In these 256 districts, “any manufacturer, importer, wholesalers, distributor or retailer engaged in selling precious metal articles will need to get mandatorily registered with the BIS. However, artisans and manufacturers who are manufacturing gold jewellery on job work basis for jewellers and are not directly related to sale to anyone are exempted from registration,” said the Ministry.

In a relief to jewellers who are saddled with old stocks of non-hallmarked jewellery, the Ministry has also decided not to impose any penalty till August-end in districts where these norms are being enforced.

“Watches, fountain pens and special types of jewellery such as Kundan, Polki and Jadau will also be exempted from hallmarking. Jewellers will also be able to continue to buy back old gold jewellery without a hallmark from consumers,” the Ministry added.

Speaking to mediapersons at a virtual conference, Pramod Kumar Tiwari, Director General, Bureau of Indian Standards, said: “One of the key reasons for enforcing the norms in a phased manner was to ensure that jewellers located in villages and other areas where there are lack of hallmarking centres shouldn’t be forced to travel long distances to get their jewellery hallmarked.

“As the infrastructure gets bolstered for assaying marking centres in the country, we will enforce these norms in two phases in rest of the districts.”

He added that BIS will look at implementing these norms in additional 246 districts in the second phase and in north-eastern regions and hill States such as Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand in the third phase. But the government has not specified timelines for the next two phases. “This is a massive change or the industry, which involves a large number of unorganised players and jewellers had a lot of apprehensions about the norms. For the next three months, we will concentrate on handholding and help them adapt to a new system,” he added.

BIS will also include 20 carats, 23 carats and 24 carats under the mandatory hallmarking norms at a later stage, which has been among the key demands of the industry.

Replying to a query on the reason for exempting jewellers with annual turnover of 40 lakh, he added: “We believe ultimately as consumer awareness increases it will compel jewellers to begin selling hallmarked jewellery as part of their selling strategy. As demand for hallmarked jewellery increases, jewellers will have to switch to selling hallmarked jewellery or they will become redundant.”

Alteration in the Hallmarked jewellery up to 2 grams of increase or decrease to be allowed with responsibility of purity on the jeweller.

Published on June 16, 2021

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