The mandatory gold hallmarking will be implemented from Wednesday in a phased manner, to begin initially with 256 districts, said the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.
“Continuing our government’s endeavour for better protection and satisfaction of customers, mandatory hallmarking in 256 districts will be implemented from June 16. No penalty will be imposed till August 2021. This will help develop India as a leading global gold market center,” tweeted Piyush Goyal, the Union Minister for Consumer Affairs and Food and Public Distribution.
As per an official release, jewellers with annual turnover up to Rs 40 lakh will be exempted from mandatory hallmarking.
“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.. 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 release said.
It further informed that gold of additional carats 20, 23 and 24 will also be allowed for hallmarking.
However, watches, fountain pens and special types of jewellery– including Kundan, Polki and Jadau– will be exempted from hallmarking.
“Jewellers can continue to buy back old gold jewellery without hallmark from the consumer. 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 Ministry added.
It further said a committee constituting representatives of all stakeholders, revenue officials and legal experts will be formed to look into the issues that may possibly emerge during the implementation of the scheme.
Notably, the hallmarking of gold jewellery was earlier set to begin from June 15.
Under hallmarking scheme of the Bureau of Indian Standards, jewellers are registered for selling hallmarked jewellery and recognise testing and hallmarking centres.
“BIS (Hallmarking) Regulations, were implemented with effect from June 14, 2018. Hallmarking will enable consumers/jewellery buyers to make the right choice and save them from any unnecessary confusion while buying gold. At present, only 30 per cent of Indian gold jewellery is hallmarked,” the release said.
The Hallmarking of jewellery/artefacts is required to enhance the credibility of gold jewellery and customer satisfaction through third party assurance for the marked purity/fineness of gold, consumer protection. This step is also expected to help develop India as a leading gold market centre in the world.
The Ministry noted that there has been a 25 per cent increase in Assaying and Hallmarking (A and H) centres in the last five years.
“The number of A and H centres has increased from 454 to 945 in the last five years. At present 940 Assaying and hallmarking centres are operative. Out of this 84 AHCs have been set up under government subsidy scheme in various Districts,” the release said.
“Presently A and H Centre’s can hallmark 1500 articles in a day, the estimated hallmarking capacity of A&H Centre’s per year are 14 crore articles (Assuming 500 articles per shift and 300 working days),” it added.
According to World Gold Council, India has around 4 lakh jewellers, out of this only 35,879 have been BIS certified.