EU Delays Implementing Kimberley Process

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(Rapaport…December 22, 2002) The European Council of Ministers adopted a regulation implementing the Kimberley Process within the European Union (EU) on December 20, 2002. In addition, the Belgian Cabinet approved a Royal Decree reinstating laws and making the diamond sector more transparent.

The EU-Regulation implements the Kimberley Process agreement for rough diamonds on EU territory in order to prevent the sale of “conflict diamonds.” Shipments will require a Kimberley Process certificate and can only enter the EU through “diamond check points.” As a result of late implementation, a provisional Kimberley Process certificate will be required as of January 1, 2003. The final certificates will be introduced on February 1, 2003.

The Belgian Royal Decree defines the control procedures for the diamond trade as a whole and covers rough, polished and industrial diamonds. The majority of the decree reiterates and confirms current laws including: registry of diamantaires with the Ministry of Economy, yearly stock declaration, and presentation of shipments at import and export to the Diamond Office.

New in the Belgian Decree is the abolishment of obligatory controls on shipments from or to another EU member. This brings the Belgian legislation in line with the principle of free trade within the EU and will become official law in June 2003.

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