PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH
SIGNS “TOM LANTOS BLOCK BURMESE
JADE ACT OF 2008” INTO LAW
Within 60 Days of the Enactment of the Bill,
Jadeite and Rubies of Burma Origin
cannot be imported into the U.S.
JVC's Web Site to Post an
Overview of the Act, the Full
Act and Frequently Asked Questions.
New York City — July 30, 2008 — President George W. Bush signed the “Tom Lantos Block Burmese JADE Act of 2008”.
The Bill requires that within 60 days, jadeite or rubies of Burma origin cannot be imported into the US. This importation ban would encompass all Burmese origin jadeite and rubies, notwithstanding “substantial transformation” in Thailand or elsewhere.
The importation ban does not apply to Burmese jadeite or rubies that are imported for personal use. The law does not apply to exports of Burmese rubies or jadeite from the U.S. Further, the bill does not prevent U.S. sales of Burmese jadeite or rubies already in the U.S.
Non-Burmese rough and polished jadeite and rubies (or jewelry containing jadeite and rubies) may be imported from other countries under certain conditions. These imports require the President to ”determine and certify” to the appropriate legislative committees and government agencies that those countries have implemented verifiable controls from mine to first exportation that demonstrate that the jadeite and ruby does not originate in Burma. These non-Burmese imports must be accompanied by officially-validated documentation certifying the country from which the jadeite and rubies were mined or extracted, total carat weight, and value of the jadeite or rubies. All entities mining, exporting or importing non-Burmese jadeite and rubies are required to maintain verifiable records demonstrating compliance with these requirements.
The importation ban does not apply to any Burmese rubies or jadeite that were in the US before the ban and then exported from the U.S. when they are re-imported into the U.S. by the same person, as long as the jadeite or rubies have not been improved in condition or value while outside the U.S. Customs is still determining whether or not this exemption would apply to cut and polished rubies that are exported from the U.S., placed into jewelry and then re-imported.
The Bill goes on to express the “sense of Congress” that the President should take the necessary steps to seek to negotiate an international agreement similar to the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme to prevent the trade in Burmese jadeite and rubies.
Check back for an overview of the Act, the full Act and frequently asked questions.
Jewelers Vigilance Committee, founded in 1917, is a not-for-profit legal trade association fulfilling its mission to maintain the jewelry industry’s highest ethical standards. JVC offers dispute mediation and arbitration services for trade and consumers, compliance monitoring and precious metals testing, among many other services. JVC, long considered the industry’s guardian of ethics and integrity, is a resource for the entire jewelry industry and its customers as well as an industry representative before government agencies, media and adjunct fields. For more information visit: www.jvclegal.org.
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