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Mandatory gold hallmarking to come into force from Wednesday in phased manner: Govt

Hallmarking is carried out using a specialised laser technique, which doesn’t spoil or bend the jewellery in any way. (istock)Premium
Hallmarking is carried out using a specialised laser technique, which doesn’t spoil or bend the jewellery in any way. (istock)

  • The government also said that the hallmarking will initially begin in 256 districts
  • Gold of Additional carats 20, 23 and 24 will also be allowed for hallmarking whereas watches, fountain pens and special types of jewellery viz. Kundan, Polki and Jadau will be exempted

The Centre on Tuesday announced that mandatory gold hallmarking of gold jewellery and artefacts will come into force from tomorrow, 15 June, 2021 in a phased manner.

The government also said that the hallmarking will initially begin in 256 districts.

Jewellers with annual turnover up to 40 lakh will be exempted from mandatory hallmarking, the government further stated.

Export and re-import of jewellery can be as per Trade Policy of Government of India - Jewellery for international exhibitions, jewellery for government-approved B2B domestic exhibitions will also be exempted from mandatory.

Gold of Additional carats 20, 23 and 24 will also be allowed for hallmarking whereas watches, fountain pens and special types of jewellery viz. Kundan, Polki and Jadau will be exempted.

Jewellers can continue to buy back old gold jewellery without hallmark from consumer, the government's statement added.

"In order to give adequate time to the manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers of Gold Jewellery, there would be No penalties till August end," it further stated.

Old jewellery can be got hallmarked as it is, if feasible by the jeweller or after melting and making new jewellery.

The Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution also said that a committee constituting of representatives of all stakeholders, revenue officials and legal experts will be formed to look into the issues that may possibly emerge during the implementation of the scheme.

Last month, the Centre had extended the deadline for mandatory hallmarking by a fortnight till June 15 in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The decision in this regard was taken at a meeting chaired by Consumer Affairs Minister Piyush Goyal.

In November 2019, the government had announced that hallmarking of gold jewellery and artefacts would be made mandatory across the country from January 15, 2021. However, the deadline was extended for four months till June 1 after jewellers sought more time in view of the pandemic.

Gold hallmarking is a purity certification of the precious metal and is voluntary in nature at present.

Hallmarking of gold jewellery was earlier set to begin from June 15. Earlier, it was expected to be implemented from June 1, 2021.

The BIS has been running a hallmarking scheme for gold jewellery since April 2000. Around 40 per cent of gold jewellery is being hallmarked currently.

The government said there has been 25 per cent increase in assaying and hallmarking centers to 945 from 454 in the last five years. Presently, 940 assaying and hallmarking centres are operative. Out of this 84 centres have been set up under the government subsidy scheme in various districts.

About 14 crore articles can be hallmarked in a year with the existing capacity of these centres, it added.

India has around 4 lakh jewellers, out of which only 35,879 have been BIS certified, as per the World Gold Council.

According to BIS, the mandatory hallmarking will protect the public against lower caratage and ensure consumers do not get cheated while buying gold ornaments and get the purity as marked on the ornaments.

India imports 700-800 tonnes of gold annually.

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