Bush Bans Conflict Diamonds

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(Rapaport… July 30, 2003) U.S. President George Bush signed an executive order on July 29, 2003 that bans the import into the U.S. of rough diamonds used to finance civil wars in Africa. By signing the order, Bush puts into effect trade restrictions under the so-called Clean Diamond Trade Act, proposed by Congress in December 2001.

The order, which goes into effect on July 30, prohibits the import of rough from non-participants of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPSC) – in fact: “any rough diamond, from whatever source, unless the rough diamond has been controlled through the KPSC.”

In a letter to Congress, Bush elaborated that the “direct or indirect importation into the United States of all rough diamonds from Liberia, whether or not such diamonds originated in Liberia, on or after July 30, 2003, is prohibited.”

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.

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