Bush Signs Conflict Diamonds Bill

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(Rapaport… April 27, 2003) U.S. President George W. Bush signed into law on April 25, 2003, a bill prohibiting the import into or export from the U.S. of diamonds used to fund the activities of rebel groups in Africa.

The Clean Diamond Trade Act requires diamond dealers to keep records of all diamond shipments and make such records available to U.S. law enforcement authorities for inspection. Under the system, all imported uncut diamonds must be accompanied by an official document stating the country origin.

The bill seeks to finalize the structure of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, to oversee the global diamond trade between nations and individuals using certificates verifiable at government level. More than 50 diamond-trading countries have signed up to the scheme, but the participation of the U.S. is crucial as Americans consume two-thirds of the world’s supply of diamonds.

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