Mandatory hallmarking of gold jewellery is going to come into force from today (16 June). Hallmarking will initially be starting in 256 districts of the country which have assaying marking centres.
Jewellers with annual turnover up to Rs 40 lakh are exempted from mandatory Hallmarking. Also watches, fountain pens and unique types of jewellery viz. Kundan, Polki and Jadau are exempted.
Jewellers can continue to buy back old gold jewellery without a hallmark from consumers. Old jewellery can be hallmarked as it is, if feasible by the jeweller or after melting and making new jewellery.
There would be no penalties till August end to give adequate time to the manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers of Gold Jewellery.
“A committee consisting of 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,” the Ministry of Consumer Affairs said.
Under the Hallmarking scheme of the Bureau of Indian Standards, Jewellers are registered for selling hallmarked jewellery from recognised testing and Hallmarking centres. Hallmarking will enable consumers 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 Hallmarking of jewellery and artefacts is required to enhance the credibility of gold jewellery and customer satisfaction through third party assurance for the fineness of gold and consumer protection. This step will also help to develop India as a leading gold market centre in the World.
It is to be noted that there has been a 25 per cent increase in Assaying and Hallmarking centres (AHC) in the last five years. The number of AHC has increased from 454 to 945 in the previous five years. At present, 940 AHCs are operational. Out of this, 84 AHCs have been set up under Government subsidy schemes in various districts.
Presently AHC can mark 1,500 articles in a day. The estimated hallmarking capacity of AHC per year is 14 crore articles.
According to the World Gold Council, India has around four lakh jewellers. Out of this, only 35,879 have been BIS certified.
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