As reported by Goldschmiede Zeitung, another meeting of the G7 states took place in mid-June, which finally created more clarity regarding the future of trade with Russian diamonds. Accordingly, as of January 1, 2024, a sanctioning of Russian diamonds by the G7 states is to take place. Initially, this will apply to diamonds from 1 ct upwards. Every six months, the restrictions will then be extended to a size class below that. Diamonds that originally came from Russia but were subsequently cut and polished, i.e. substantially transformed, in another country will also be subject to these sanctions. To implement the sanctions, documents proving that the diamonds do not originate from Russia are to be presented to the customs authorities when diamonds are imported.
It seems not yet fully clarified which documents exactly are required for the import. It is possible that documentation from the various tracking systems, such as De Beers' Tracr system, may be sufficient. A Kimberley Process Certificate might also suffice, as long as it proves a non-Russian origin and can be traced back to the original rough diamond.
However, some Indian cutters do not have the ability to use such systems and are already anticipating layoffs as a result. It is also unclear how to deal with Russian stones that were acquired before the Ukraine war began.
Apparently, Belgium will not resist the sanctions after it would have to support them as part of the EU, the unofficial 8th member of the G7. On the other hand, other countries such as India and the United Arab Emirates, which are not part of the G7, do not want to restrict trade relations with the Russian diamond producer Alrosa in the near future. The president of the World Diamond Center, Feriel Zerouki, therefore hopes that a solution can be found that the entire industry can get behind.
It is pleasing to read that the G7 countries are finally planning concrete measures to stop the trade in Russian diamonds, even if the measures are still a bit more hesitant than hoped. We have already reported several times on the problem that the Russian company Alrosa, one of the largest diamond producers in the world, is largely state-owned, which is why the trade in Russian diamonds is presumably helping to finance the war of aggression against Ukraine. We can only agree with Mr. Zerouki and hope that a solution will soon be found behind which the entire industry will unite in order not to fill Russia's war chest even further. In any case, it is a great step forward that the G7 countries have reached an agreement in this regard.
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Source: Article “Neue Sanktionen gegen russische Diamanten” in Goldschmiede Zeitung from 20 June 2023
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