Chennai: The Indian government has notified to the World Trade Organisation its intention to implement mandatory hallmarking for gold jewellery and artefacts to be sold across the country.
Though the government has not mentioned a date for adoption of mandatory hallmarking, industry experts feel that the country is getting closer to it.
In a notification to the WTO, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs said the government intends to bring in “compulsory selling of precious metals articles of gold (jewellery and gold artefacts) through certified sales outlets and with hallmark”.
This will help consumer protection through prevention of deceptive practices, customer satisfaction through third party assurance for the marked purity/fineness of gold and enhance the credibility of gold jewellery.
The decision will come into force with effect from the date of its publication in the official gazette. However, the government said it has not decided when it would publish this in the gazette.
Other member countries in WTO can raise their objection, if any, to this decision. They have been given 60 days from the date of notification to raise objection.
“None of the members are likely to raise objection as most of the countries currently have mandatory hallmarking. Among large consumers, China too had recently made hallmarking mandatory,” said Somasundaram P.R., Managing Director, India, World Gold Council.
“Almost 40 to 50 per cent of the gold in the market are hallmarked. It would take 8 to 12 months to get the rest of the stocks to be hallmarked. Government is likely to keep this in mind while announcing the deadline,’ he said.