New Delhi, June 17 (IndiaToday) – Mandatory hallmarking of gold jewellery and artefacts came into force from Wednesday and the process will be carried out in a phased manner. The announcement was made on Tuesday by the consumer affairs ministry.
The mandatory gold hallmarking will be first implemented in 256 districts in the first phase of the plan, announced Union minister Piyush Goyal.
Piyush Goyal said, “Continuing our government’s endeavour for better protection and satisfaction of customers, mandatory hallmarking in 256 districts will be implemented from 16 June.”
“No penalty will be imposed till August 2021. This will help develop India as a leading global gold market centre,” Goyal added.
While the initial plan was to introduce the hallmarking from January 15, 2021, the deadline was extended till June 1 and later to June 15 as jewellers sought more time for compliance in view of the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
WHAT IS GOLD HALLMARKING?
The process of gold hallmarking is a purity certification of the precious metal and has been voluntary in nature. This process was not mandatory before the government’s announcement.
Simply put, the hallmarking will act as an additional purity certification. The government claims that the hallmarking of gold jewellery and artefacts will enhance the credibility of the products. It will also protect the public against lower cartage besides ensuring that consumers do not get cheated while buying gold ornaments.
The government also said that mandatory hallmarking will help India become a leading gold marker centre in the world.
It may be noted that the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has been conducting a hallmarking scheme in the country since 2000 and around 40 per cent of gold jewellery is currently being certified.
The government further said there has been a 25 per cent increase in Assaying and Hallmarking (A and H) centres — from 454 to 945 — in the last five years.
WHAT HAPPENS TO YOUR OLD JEWELLERY?
Following the announcement, many are wondering what will happen to their old jewellery that has not been hallmarked. As of now, individuals who own gold jewellery without hallmark do not need to worry; the directive is for sellers, aimed at improving the quality of gold purchased by consumers.
The government said that a committee constituting representatives of all stakeholders, revenue officials and legal experts will be formed to look into issues that could emerge after the implementation of the scheme.
It may be noted that gold watches, fountain pens, special types of jewellery including Kundan, Polki and Jadau will be exempted from mandatory hallmarking.
The government’s release also said that jewellers can continue to buy back old gold jewellery without hallmark from consumers.
“In order to give adequate time to the manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers of gold jewellery, there would be no penalties till August end. Old jewellery can be got hallmarked as it is, if feasible by the jeweller or after melting and making new jewellery,” the government said.
WHAT IS THE HALLMARKING GUIDELINE?
The government said that jewellers with an annual turnover up to Rs 40 lakh will be exempted from the mandatory hallmarking rule.
“Hallmarking will be initially be starting from 256 districts of the country which have Assaying marking centres. Jewellers with annual turnover up to Rs 40 lakh will be exempted from mandatory hallmarking,” the government said.
“Export and re-import of jewellery as per Trade Policy of Government of India – Jewellery for international exhibitions, jewellery for government-approved B2B domestic exhibitions will be exempted from mandatory hallmarking,” the government press release added. Furthermore, gold of additional carats 20, 23 and 24 will be eligible for hallmarking.