DDC Objects to U.S. Kimberley Group

150 150 Rapaport News

(Rapaport…December 19, 2002) The New York Diamond Dealers Club (DDC) objects to the Rough Diamond Export Mechanism (RDEM) recently established by the Diamond Manufacturers and Importers of America (DMIA), DDC secretary Sylvain Ringer said.

The RDEM was created to ensure American exports of rough diamonds are in compliance with the Kimberley Process. According to the plan, exporters will be charged $50 for the Kimberley certificate that must accompany every shipment of rough that leaves the United States. Ringer said the 77-member DMIA had no right to create the RDEM under its auspices without consulting the 1,900-member DDC.

“You can’t go to Washington and say, ‘We are the organization,’” Ringer said. “It has to be done in cooperation with the preeminent diamond organization, which is the DDC. You don’t go and finalize things in the name of all American dealers when you didn’t consult them.”

Leon Cohen, president of the DMIA, said DDC members have known about the plans for RDEM for months and that one DDC board member, Ronnie Vanderlin, is in fact an RDEM officer and board member. The other RDEM board members appointed so far are Cohen and Jeff Fischer, a former DMIA president. The board is still being formed and will include members from outside of the diamond industry, Cohen added.

“We are delighted to have participation from the DDC,” Cohen said. “About four months ago, when no one was interested in working on a solution to this problem, it was floated by Eli Izhakoff in a World Diamond Council (WDC) meeting to have Jewelers of America (JA) do it. We felt in the DMIA that as importers of rough and manufacturers, we had unique capabilities and knowledge that would be beneficial to a solution of implementation of the Kimberley Process related to rough diamonds exports from the U.S. Since then we have worked very hard to accomplish a solution that benefits everybody and we are now ready for a January 1 implementation of the Kimberley Process in the U.S.”

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