Gold & Silver

Gold jewellers protest mandatory hallmarking

Our Bureaus Mumbai/Chennai/Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on August 23, 2021

Jewellers participate in a token strike against mandatory hallmarking process in Chennai   -  Bijoy Ghosh

New HUID system is impractical, they say, demanding the Govt to do away with it

Gold jewellers across major cities participated in a nationwide strike against the mandatory hallmarking, Hallmark Unique Identification (HUID), effective June 16.

Jewellers demanded that the implementation of the mandatory mark of quality be rolled back as the process was impractical, capacity to mark individual pieces of jewellery was inadequate leading to long delays among various reasons.

Aditya Pethe, Director, Waman Hari Pethe Jewellers, one of the largest players in Maharashtra, said while mandatory hallmarking is a welcome step, implementation has been made difficult for the industry, especially HUID (hallmark unique identification).

“A lot of jewellery houses including us have kept the stores shut today to support the strike. We hope the government modifies the roll out plans so that it is a win-win situation for all the parties,” he said.

‘Long delay’

Ishu Datwani, Director, Anmol Jewellers said hallmarking definitely brings quality guarantee and transparency for consumers while HUID is not within the scope of BIS.

“Earlier we would get jewellery back after hallmarking in one day. Now, it taking over 10 days. No amount of relaxation in HUID will please the industry and we expect the Government to abolish it completely,” said Datwani.

Vaibhav Saraf, Director, Aisshpra Gems & Jewels said the clerical work needed for HUID will continue to hamper the speed at which jewellery pieces are being hallmarked.

“Hallmarking at the first point of sale causes an imbalance in the distribution of hallmarking centres as the entire load is on centres around the production hubs compared to retail cities, he said.

Shrey Mehta, Director, Pooja Diamonds said organised players are selling only hallmarked jewellery since last 10 years, but the new guidelines are going to cause lot of issues and hassles.

‘Inadequate capacity’

For instance, if there is an alteration required, it takes additional six days for hallmarking and leads to delay in delivery, he said. Over 1,000 jewellers in Chennai partially shut their shops between 9:00-11:30 am on Monday as a token protest against the ‘arbitrary’ implementation of the new HUID hallmarking process.

Uday Vummidi, President, Chennai Jewellers Association, said that gold hallmarking, a purity certification of the precious metal, was voluntary previously. The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) made gold hallmarking mandatory from June 16, 2021, in about 256 districts across the country that have Assaying and Hallmarking Centres. However, due to capacity inadequacy, 16 to 18 crore pieces are lying idle without hallmarking. There is an estimated three-year backlog, as the current capacity of hallmarking centres is only about 2 lakh pieces/day. At this speed, it will take almost 3-4 years to mark the existing stock.

Jayantilal Challani, President, The Jewellers and Diamond Traders Association, “HUID is arbitrary. It is unfriendly to customers and detrimental to the growth of the industry - especially, the small and medium family jewellers.

” Across India over 47,000 registered jewellers are on an average are holding 10 kg non-hallmarked inventory each. This equals 470 tonnes. About 6.7 crore pieces of jewellery, weighing 7 grams each, are lying with the newly registered jewellers for hallmarking, he added.

Jewellers say they face the risk of ‘losing their brand identity under the HUID’, and demonstrated in front of the shops for a couple of hours.

‘Branding hit’

B Govindan, Chairman of Kerala-based Bhima Jewellers, and Chairman, South Zone of All India Gem and Jewellery Domestic Council told BusinessLine that “Six-digit (earlier four) marking now have to be engraved in one piece of jewellery. Throughout my stint as a jeweller, I have sold my ware after stamping my seal, which is Bhima. New rules don’t allow the provision of stamping the brand name on the jewellery,” Govindan said.

“If the customer were to return the jewellery, how will In know that it is a Bhima product?”

“Earlier, we used to get 1,500 pieces of jewellery from a hallmarking centre. This has been sharply cut to just 75-100 thanks to glitches with the hallmarking software,” Govindan says.

Jewellers fear it is just a tracking mechanism, which is impractical and unimplementable.

Published on August 23, 2021

Follow us on Telegram, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Linkedin. You can also download our Android App or IOS App.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

You May Also Like