Tuesday, May 21, 2024

New Import Restrictions on Russian Diamonds Enacted by US Government

In response to what is perceived as harmful activities by the Russian Federation, the United States Government has implemented a set of stringent regulations targeting the importation of certain Russian commodities, effective March 1, 2024. These measures, outlined in Executive Order 14114, represent part of an international effort led by the G7 leaders to impose phased restrictions on specific Russian diamonds.


The initial executive order, EO 14068, issued on March 11, 2022, initially prohibited the importation of non-industrial diamonds and some other materials originating in Russia. However, EO 14114 expands on these restrictions by addressing situations where Russian-origin diamonds and seafood undergo substantial transformation outside of Russia. This amendment mandates the prohibition of importation, regardless of transformation, if any part of the product’s production process has occurred within Russian borders.


Further reinforcing these restrictions, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued two determinations on February 8, 2024. These determinations, titled “Prohibitions Related to Imports of Certain Categories of Diamonds” and “Prohibitions Related to Imports of Diamond Jewelry and Unsorted Diamonds of Russian Federation Origin,” solidify the import restrictions and emphasize the need for compliance within the trade community.

To comply with these regulations, effective March 1, 2024, all entries, certified summary transactions, and goods admitted into Foreign Trade Zones (FTZs) containing the affected commodities must include a self-certification statement. This statement must be uploaded to the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Document Image System (DIS) with specific formatting requirements.

The prohibitions include:

Non-industrial diamonds mined or extracted in Russia, regardless of whether they have been substantially transformed in a third country. These restrictions come into effect on March 1 for diamonds weighing 1.0 carat or more and will expand to cover diamonds weighing 0.5 carats or more from September 1 onwards.
Diamond jewelry and unsorted diamonds of Russian origin or exported from Russia.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has announced that as of March 1, all entry and certified summary transactions, as well as goods admitted into foreign-trade zones containing covered diamonds, will require a self-certification statement affirming compliance with the new prohibitions.

Importers must ensure that the self-certification statement meets specific criteria, including being provided on an official company letterhead in PDF format and containing the appropriate certification statement based on the type of commodity being imported.

It is crucial for importers to comprehend and adhere to these filing requirements to ensure compliance with the new regulations. Failure to comply may result in penalties or the seizure of goods. Additional filing requirements under the executive orders will be communicated by CBP once necessary ACE enhancements are deployed.


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