Centre mandates new hallmarking for gold, to be effective from April 1 | DETAILS
The Center has announced that starting March 31, it will be mandatory for all gold jewelry and art objects sold in the country to carry a unique identification number known as Hallmark Unique Identification Number (HUID). This move aims to ensure quality standards and customer satisfaction as India strives to become the third largest economy in the world.
To support the HUID mandate, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs plans to expand the testing infrastructure available at the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and its accredited laboratories to 10 times its current capacity. The government also announced an 80% concession on micro-unit marking fees in various products and an additional 10% concession for all units in the Northeast to help companies comply with the order.
The government’s goal is to establish India as a quality market by raising consumer awareness on how to identify quality products rather than buying cheaper products that get dumped. Consultations with stakeholders are currently taking place for 663 products for which Quality Control Orders (QCOs) will be implemented. The government also plans to establish quality standards for sectors such as construction, electronics, cars and durable goods.
The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) had mandated the testing of gold jewelery and art objects in June 2021 to increase jewelery credibility and customer satisfaction through third party assurance of gold marked purity and consumer protection. From April 1, 2022, jewelers may only sell 14, 18, and 22 carat gold jewelry and other items certified by BIS for their purity.
The hallmarking process involves verifying the gold content in jewelry and art objects by engraving a Hallmark Unique Identification Number (HUID) on each piece of jewelry at an authorized testing and hallmarking center. With the SKIN, consumers can trace the origin and quality of the gold. This move is aimed at protecting consumers from fraud and ensuring uniform gold quality standards across the country.
Consumers can easily check whether their jewelery has been approved by looking for four symbols: the BIS logo, purity in carats, identification mark or number of the inspection center and identification mark or number of the jeweller. Jewelers who violate this rule risk a fine of five times the price of the jewelry or a year in prison, or both. Jewelers can, however, continue to purchase old gold jewelery without a quality mark from consumers.
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