London Diamond Bourse | The storm closes in – Opinion Piece by Alan Cohen
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The storm closes in – Opinion Piece by Alan Cohen

The storm closes in – Opinion Piece by Alan Cohen

In medical circles, there’s a darkly humorous saying: “The operation was a success, but the patient died.” *

Similarly, in military strategy, there’s a parallel sentiment: No battle plan survives initial contact with the enemy. They emphasize that “the opposing side always has a say.” You can’t always count on getting the expected reaction.

For businesses, this translates to the fact that sticking rigidly to a predetermined plan, no matter how disciplined, often yields unpredictable outcomes. Conversely, to achieve consistent results, you must be willing to adapt your approach based on feedback. Failure to do so jeopardizes your objectives.

 We have less than 3 weeks before the planned prohibition on polished Russian Diamonds of 1.00ct and larger, comes into effect. This ban is on Russian diamonds regardless as to where they were polished.

The major problem we encounter is that there is no guidance on how we prove to HMRC (or your G7 countries customs officer) that these diamonds are in compliance.

In conversation with the UK Department of Business and Trade (who have been incredibly receptive to all the points that have been made to them but operate under the orders of published legislation) we have been told that “documentary supply chain evidence” will be accepted by G7 countries, ahead of the anticipated, fully traceability mechanism starting September 1st.

I truly have no idea what constitutes “documentary supply chain evidence” and how customs will be able to view this evidence. – Would a statement on an invoice of non-Russian origin, from the polisher suffice?

For the trade to function properly, whatever statement that is made, would need to be available and easily passed on to the next recipient in the trade, very much like the System of Warranty, that you have on your invoice, regarding non- Conflict Diamonds.

What supply chain evidence can I add to a stone sold from my ‘old stock’, other than where I bought the stone or when I bought it? (Both proprietary information that is of no business to the buyer!)

We must have more clarity on how we can comply with this legislation – and not on the 29th February!

While applauding the ‘operation’ to track the origin of all diamonds, if any of the G7 countries outside of the EU (USA, UK, Japan, Canada) decide to follow the EU procedure and their current plan for all our diamonds to go via Antwerp – then the patient will most surely die.

I promised a zoom meeting for all members – but it will have to wait until we have a clearer picture.

The above is my opinion and not necessarily that of any diamond related organisations that I might be a part of.

*thanks to my friend Trevor Sigsworth for reminding me of the saying, during one of my ‘rants’.

 

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