Tuesday, May 21, 2024
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Key Points on Importing Diamonds into the U.S.: New Guidelines Unveiled

New York—U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has released crucial guidance on the importation of diamonds into the United States, coinciding with the implementation of new restrictions by the G7 on diamonds mined but not cut in Russia.

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Effective as of Friday, March 1, entities importing polished diamonds weighing 1 carat or more into the U.S. are mandated to provide “self-certification” affirming that the diamonds are not of Russian origin.

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The self-certification requirement entails submitting a PDF document, crafted on official company letterhead, containing specific declarations. For non-industrial diamonds weighing 1 carat or more, the statement should assert that the diamonds were not sourced, extracted, or produced in whole or in part in Russia, irrespective of any subsequent transformation into other products outside Russia. For diamond jewelry and unsorted diamonds, the certification should attest that the items are not of Russian origin or were not exported from Russia.

This document can be uploaded onto CBP’s Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Document Image System, the electronic platform facilitating trade processing. Notably, only one self-certification document is needed per entry.

CBP has indicated that additional filing requirements under the executive order will be issued once necessary enhancements to ACE are deployed.

The new directive responds to the G7’s move to restrict the import of Russian diamonds across member countries, aiming to curtail Russia’s financial support for the conflict in Ukraine. The measure counters CBP’s previous substantial transformation rule, which allowed Russian diamonds to enter the U.S. by virtue of being transformed into other products in third-party countries.

Additionally, the Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC) has provided insights into the evolving import regulations. Starting September 1, the size threshold for affected diamonds will decrease to 0.5 carats, and the import restrictions will encompass finished jewelry, lab-grown diamonds, and watches.

JVC has launched a dedicated “Sanctions” page on its website, offering pertinent links to U.S. and G7 documents, FAQs, and industry resources. The organization emphasizes collaboration with stakeholders and government entities to navigate these requirements effectively.

While the latest CBP guidelines offer clarity, questions persist within the industry regarding compliance and enforcement beyond the current “sunrise period,” slated to conclude on August 31. Jewelers of America (JA) President and CEO David Bonaparte underscores the importance of adhering to the new restrictions and advises members to engage with suppliers to ensure compliance and safeguard business interests.

As the industry awaits further details on the enforcement of the Russian diamond ban, ongoing collaboration and communication remain essential for navigating these regulatory changes effectively.

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