The Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution today held a press conference regarding mandatory hallmarking of Gold jewelry & artefacts in India for which notification will be issued by the Department of Consumer Affairs providing a period of one year for implementation i.e. till January, 2021. Addressing the media, Shri Paswan said that the purpose of making hallmarking mandatory for Gold Jewelry and Artefacts is to ensure that consumers are not cheated while buying gold ornaments and get the purity as marked on the ornaments, they are better informed about the purity of Gold which will now be in only 3 caratage i.e. 14, 18 and 22 and corruption is removed.
Explaining the reasons for the one-year implementation period, Shri Paswan said that this will ensure that Jewelers registration process can be completed and jewelers/retailers get time for clearing their old/existing stock and also so that additional A&H centres can be set up by private entrepreneurs at various locations where demand arises and priority shall be given to districts where such centres are not present. As on 31st December 2019, there are 892 Assaying and Hallmarking centres spread in 234 District locations across the country and so far 28,849 jewelers have been registered by Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).
BIS (Hallmarking) Regulations, 2018 were notified w.e.f. 14.06.2018. BIS is running a hallmarking scheme for gold jewelry since April 2000. The BIS Act 2016 has enabling provisions under Section 14 & Section 16 for mandatory hallmarking of Gold jewellery & artefacts by the Central Government. This will make it compulsory for all the jewellers selling Gold jewellery and artefacts to register with BIS & sell only hallmarked Gold jewellery & artefacts. The draft Quality Control Order (QCO) for mandatory hallmarking of gold jewellery and gold artefacts was hosted on WTO website on 10 October 2019 for comments for a period of 60 days. No comments have been received on the draft QCO.
The caratage is marked on jewelry in addition to fineness for convenience of consumers, e.g. for 22 carat jewelry, 22K will be marked in addition to 916, for 18 carat jewelry, 18K will be marked in addition to 750 and for 14 carat jewelry, 14K will be marked in addition to 585. Hallmark on Gold Jeweler now has following four marks:
Purity in carat and Assay centre’s Jewellers identification
BIS Mark Fineness (e.g.22K916) identification mark mark
An awareness campaign on mandatory hallmarking for jewellers and common consumers will be organized at various locations across the country. BIS is also planning to outreach the consumers through social media and other forms.