Clean Diamond Act Unlikely to Pass in Current Form

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(Rapaport…July 28, 2002) The Clean Diamond Trade Act is unlikely to be passed in its current form and a new bill must be introduced to comply with the tenets of the Kimberly Process, according to U.S. House of Representative officials.

Bill HR 2722, which was passed by the House and introduced in the Senate in November 2001, “is outdated,” says Debra De Young, senior aide to Congressman Tony Hall, a cosponsor of the conflict diamond legislation. “We expect the Bush administration to submit legislation that implements the Kimberly Process.”

The new bill, says De Young, would likely incorporate two items from the Kimberly Process — a U.S. export certificate for rough diamonds; and adherence to the Safe Harbor Provision.

In regard to the U.S. export certificate for rough, “the administration is very nervous about that,” says De Young. “It’s difficult to say whether the diamonds leaving the country are the same ones that came in.”

HR 2722 gives the president authority to impose sanctions against a country that does not have a system of controls on rough diamonds if he deems it a matter of national security. The bill also gives the president the authority to block shipments of jewelry and polished gems if there is credible evidence that they were made with conflict diamonds.

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