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New Norms on Hallmarking of Gold

  • 17 Jun 2021
  • 4 min read

Why in News

Recently, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution made it mandatory for the hallmarking of gold jewellery, which will be implemented in a phased manner.

Key Points

  • About Hallmarking:
    • The Bureau of Indian Standard (BIS), which operates the gold and silver hallmarking scheme in India, defines hallmarking as the “accurate determination and official recording of the proportionate content of precious metal in precious metal articles.”
    • So, it is a “guarantee of purity or fineness” of precious metal articles, which started in 2000.
    • In India, at present two precious metals namely gold and silver have been brought under the purview of Hallmarking.
    • The BIS certified jewellers can get their jewellery hallmarked from any of the BIS recognized Assaying and Hallmarking Centres (A&HC).
    • Earlier, it was optional for the jewellers and thus only 40% of gold jewellery was getting hallmarked.
  • Implementation in a Phased Manner:
    • In the first phase, gold hallmarking will be available only in 256 districts and jewellers having annual turnover above Rs. 40 lakh will come under its purview.
    • A certain category of jewellery and items will also be exempted from the mandatory requirement of hallmarking.
      • Jewellery for international exhibitions, jewellery for government-approved B2B (Business-to-Business) domestic exhibitions will be exempted from mandatory Hallmarking.
  • Need of Gold Hallmarking:
    • India is the biggest consumer of gold. However, the level of hallmarked jewellery is very low in the country.
    • The mandatory hallmarking will protect the public against lower caratage (the fraction of pure gold) and ensure consumers do not get cheated while buying gold ornaments.
      • It will help to get the purity as marked on the ornaments.
    • It will bring in transparency and assure the consumers of quality.
    • It will weed out anomalies and corruption in the system of manufacturing of jewellery.

Bureau of Indian Standards

  • BIS is the National Standard Body of India for the harmonious development of the activities of standardization, marking and quality certification of goods.
  • Standards Formulation: BIS formulates Indian Standards in line with the national priorities for various sectors that have been grouped under 14 Departments like Chemicals, Food and Agriculture, Civil, Electro-technical, Electronics & Information Technology, etc.
  • BIS' International Activities:
    • BIS is a founder member of ISO (International Organization for Standardization) and is actively involved in the development of International Standards.
    • India is represented in IEC (International Electro-technical Commission) through BIS. IEC is the world’s leading organization for the preparation and publication of International Standards for all electrical, electronic and related technologies.
    • BIS is the National Enquiry Point for WTO -TBT (World Trade Organisation – Technical Barriers to Trade).
  • Other Initiatives:
    • BIS SDO Recognition Scheme:
      • To attain the One Nation One Standard vision of the Government of India, BIS launched a scheme which provides for Recognition of SDO (Standard Developing Organization).
    • Product Certification Scheme:
      • BIS operates a Product Certification scheme for ensuring compliance to Indian Standards. Presence of BIS standard mark (popularly known as ISI mark) on a product indicates conformity to the relevant Indian Standard.

Source: IE

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