What is gold hallmarking and why is it important?


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The hallmarking of gold has been made mandatory in India from June 16, 2021. The process will be undertaken in a phased manner throughout the country, beginning initially with 256 districts, informed Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs.

Consumer Affairs Minister Piyush Goyal tweeted saying, “Continuing our Govt’s endeavour for better protection & satisfaction of customers, mandatory hallmarking in 256 districts will be implemented from 16 June 2021. No penalty will be imposed till August 2021.”

The Minister stated that this will help develop India as a leading global gold market center.

Where will gold hallmarking be mandatory?

Initially, the government plans to start mandatory gold hallmarking from 256 districts of the country that have Assaying marking centres. There is no information regarding when the mandatory gold hallmarking will begin in the remaining districts.

As of now, the hallmarking of gold jewelry will be mandatory in all seven districts of Delhi and in 19 districts in Uttar Pradesh, including Lucknow, Bareilly, Agra, Mathura, Jhansi, Meerut, Muzaffarnagar, Gorakhpur, Moradabad, Saharanpur, Gautam Budh Nagar and Varanasi. 

• The gold of additional carats 20, 23 and 24 will be allowed for hallmarking.

• The jewellers will be able to continue to buy back old gold jewellery without a hallmark from the consumer. 

• All old jewellery can get hallmarked as it is if feasible by the jeweller or after melting and making new jewellery.

Will there be any penalty for violation of the scheme?

The Consumer Affairs Ministry has decided to not impose any penalties till August-end to give adequate time to the manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers of gold jewellery.

Will all jewellers have to comply with mandatory gold hallmarking?

No, the jewellers with annual turnover up to Rs 40 lakh will be exempted from mandatory gold hallmarking, as per an official release. 

Which items will be exempted from gold hallmarking?

Special types of jewellery including Polki, Kundan and Jadau will be exempted from hallmarking.

Other articles like watches and fountain pens will also be exempted from hallmarking.

The 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 also be exempted from mandatory hallmarking.

Centre to form new Committee

A committee comprising representatives of all stakeholders, revenue officials and legal experts will be formed to look into issues that can emerge during the implementation of the mandatory gold hallmarking scheme.

The mandatory hallmarking of gold jewellery was earlier set to begin from June 15.

What is Hallmarking?

• As per the Bureau of Indian Standards, hallmarking is the accurate determination and official recording of the proportionate content of precious metal in precious metal articles. 

• Hallmarking is a guarantee of purity or fineness of precious metal articles. The key objective of the Hallmarking Scheme is to protect the public against adulteration and to obligate manufacturers to maintain legal standards of fineness.

• Under the hallmarking scheme of the Bureau of Indian Standards, registration is granted to the jewellers for selling hallmarked jewellery. The BIS-certified jewellers can get their jewellery hallmarked from any of the BIS-recognized Assaying and Hallmarking Centres.

• The BIS (Hallmarking) Regulations were implemented with effect from June 14, 2018. At present, only 30 percent of gold jewellery in India is hallmarked.

Why is gold hallmarking important?

• The Hallmarking of jewellery and artefacts not only enhances the credibility of gold jewellery but it also enables customers to make the right choice while buying gold. 

• The hallmarking scheme will provide the customers with third-party assurance for the marked purity/fineness of gold.

• The move is expected to help develop India as a leading gold market centre in the world.

Background

The Consumer Affairs 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 such centres has increased from 454 to 945 in the last five years. 

Currently, around 940 Assaying and hallmarking centres are operative, out of which 84 AHCs have been set up under government subsidy scheme in various Districts. 

The current A and H Centres have the capacity to hallmark about 1500 articles in a day. They are estimated to hallmark about 14 crore articles in a year. 

As per World Gold Council, India has around 4 lakh jewellers, out of which only 35,879 have been BIS certified.  In India, hallmarking is done for both gold and silver jewellery.





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