The recent hallmarking rules have reformed the gold jewellery segment in India. The union government came up with new rules that have obliged the jewellery sellers to sell gold with hallmark. But for now, jewellers can continue to buy old gold jewellery back even without a hallmark from the consumers. The 20, 23 and 24 carat gold will also be hallmarked.
From now on this will give people the assurance of buying pure gold. Hallmarking of gold jewellery assures buyers purity of the precious metal. Presently, only 30% of the Indian Gold Jewellery is hallmarked. The new rules are expected to improve the segment and make it more professional and authentic. Also, the World Gold Council has informed that India has around 4 lakh jewellers. But out of them, only 35879 are Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) certified.
In addition to that, a Hallmarking Unique ID or HUID has been created for each hallmarked jewellery piece. HUID is a six digit alphanumeric code. This ID will be given at the time of hallmarking. This is in the eye of all the new chaos. Some of the industry insiders are saying that is HUID is delaying the process of jewellery certification.
The government has decided to implement this in 256 districts in the first phase. These districts already have assaying marking centres. But the jewellers who have an annual turnover up to Rs. 40 lakh will be exempted from the new mandatory hallmarking system.
This mandatory hallmarking of gold jewellery has been introduced in India during mid-June 2021. From that time in more than one month, the number of jewellers registering with the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) to sell hallmarked jewellery has jumped. The figure went doubled to 74,000. It shows that the Indian jewellers are trying to get accustomed to the new rules, the pace is slow though.
The union government implemented the rules within a very short span of time and caught the jewellers with surprise. Hence, the businesses did not get much scope to prepare them for the new ecosystem. According to an official statement by the All India Gem and Jewellery Domestic Council (GJC), this decision brought confusion, immense unrest and disruption amongst jewellers.
GJC also said that the government did not include several vital points. These were discussed during a meeting between the industry stakeholders and the union government on June 15, 2021. GJC Chairman Ashish Pethe commented, "A very important point of one-time registration for jewellers and no renewal with the BIS is still not clearly mentioned in the FAQs on the BIS website. Another significant point about hallmarking being applicable only at the first point of sale is also missing."
The jewellers are also likely to face it tough, with the fact that they will have to tag their jewellery pieces with a unique ID and upload the details on the BIS website. Then they can send it to 'Assaying and Hallmarking Centres' or AHCs for hallmarking. It means that not only the AHCs, but also the jewellers will be involved
However, this decision has been taken after numerous postponements and multiple dialogues with the industry stakeholders. Importantly, The BIS Hallmarking Regulations were implemented in June 2018.
In the last 1.5 months around 72 AHCs out of 933 have been suspended due to the new regulations. Here this is important as these 72 assaying centres have been working in the country for decades. Now, these have been suspended, which means earlier they might have done irregularities with the rules.