Mandatory gold hallmarking | All you need to know

Photo: IANS

New Delhi: Hallmarking of gold and artefacts will be made mandatory in India from Tuesday. The earlier deadline of June 1 was extended by two weeks following the lock down in several parts of the country.

The new regulation makes it compulsory to hallmark gold jewellery before it is stored or sold to ensure purity of the precious metal.

This implies that the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) can take coercive action on jewellers across India or impose penalty on those who may not comply with BIA (BIS Act, 2016) regulations, Section 29(2) on mandatory hallmarking due to the lack of adequate infrastructure in terms of assaying and hallmarking centres.

Important points

•Gold hallmarking is a purity certification of the precious metal and is voluntary in nature at present. The BIS is already running a hallmarking scheme for gold jewellery since April 2000 and around 40 per cent of gold jewellery is being hallmarked currently.

•The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has formulated standards for hallmarking gold jewellery in three grades -- 14 carat, 18 carat and 22 carat. Only these three grades can now be sold in jewellery shops.

•14 karat is 58.5 per cent gold, 18 karat is 75 per cent gold and 22 karat is 91.6 per cent gold

• 24 karat gold which has more than 99.5 per cent gold may be sold as bullions after registration

•The registration process has been made online and automatic.

•If the items sold do not have the hallmark, there is a provision for a fine of a minimum Rs 1 lakh and up to five times of the value of article as well as one year jail under the BIS Act passed last year.

•At present, there are 877 assaying and hallmarking centres in 234 district locations and 26,019 jewellers have taken BIS registration.

•The hallmark rule will however, not affect the sale of old jewelry.

India is the largest importer of gold

India is the largest importer of gold, which mainly caters to the demand of jewellery industry. In volume terms, the country imports 700-800 tonne of gold annually.

According to World Gold Council data, India's cumulative gold demand declined to 496.11 tonnes during the first nine months of 2019 from 523.9 tonnes in the year-ago period. The 2018 full year gold demand stood at 760.4 tonnes.

Similarly, the cumulative gold import declined to 502.9 tonnes in the first nine months of 2019 from 587.3 tonnes in the corresponding period of the previous year. India's gold imports stood at 755.7 tonnes in 2018.

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