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Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Explained: What is hallmarking of gold, and for whom is it now mandatory?

The government, through a notification issued on June 14, 2018, notified two categories—gold jewellery and gold artefacts; and silver jewellery and silver artefacts—under the purview of hallmarking.

Written by Harikishan Sharma , Edited by Explained Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: June 17, 2021 7:14:54 am
GoldJewellers with annual turnover up to Rs 40 lakh will be exempted from mandatory hallmarking. (File photo)

The government on Tuesday announced the phased implementation of mandatory hallmarking of gold jewellery with effect from June 16. In the first phase, gold hallmarking will be available in only in 256 districts and jewellers having annual turnover above Rs 40 lakh will come under its purview. Which are these districts and how to check the hallmarked jewellery?

What is hallmarking of gold?

The Bureau of Indian Standard (BIS), which operates 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 metals are covered hallmarking in India?

The government, through a notification issued on June 14, 2018, notified two categories—gold jewellery and gold artefacts; and silver jewellery and silver artefacts—under the purview of hallmarking. So, hallmarking in India is available for jewellery of only two metals—gold and silver.

However, a certain category of jewellery and items will be exempted from the mandatory requirement of hallmarking.

According to the Department of Consumer Affairs, “Export and re-import of jewellery as per Trade Policy of Government of India — Jewellery for international exhibitions, jewellery for government-approved B2B domestic exhibitions will be exempted from mandatory Hallmarking.”

The Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution said that watches, fountain pens and special types of jewellery such as Kundan, Polki and Jadau will be exempted from hallmarking.

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Why hallmarking has been made mandatory only in 256 districts?

The ministry said that “based on extensive consultations with stakeholders,” it has been decided that hallmarking will be initially be starting with 256 districts of the country which have assaying marking centres.

However, the ministry has given no date from which the next phase of the mandatory hallmarking will begin in the remaining districts.

Which are the 256 districts where the hallmarking of gold jewellery has become mandatory?

Hallmarking of gold jewellery will be mandatory in all seven districts in Delhi. However, in Uttar Pradesh, this facility will be initially available in only 19 districts—Agra, Allahabad, Bareilly, Budaun, Deoria, Ghaziabad, Gorakhpur, Jaunpur, Jhansi, Mathura, Kanpur Nagar, Lucknow, Meerut, Moradabad, Muzaffarnagar, GautamBudh Nagar, Saharanpur, Shahjahanpur and Varanasi.

In other states, hallmarking of the gold jewellery will be available in the following districts:

Madhya Pradesh: 1. Bhopal 2. Dewas 3. Gwalior 4. Rewa 5. Indore 6. Jabalpur 7. Ratlam 8. Satna.

Rajasthan: 1. Ajmer 2. Alwar 3. Bhilwara 4. Bikaner 5. Hanumangarh 6. Jaipur 7. Jhunjhunu 8. Jodhpur 9. Kota 10. Nagaur 11. Pali 12. Sawai Madhopur 13. Sirohi 14. Sikar 15. Sriganganagar 16. Churu 17. Udaipur 18. Banswara

Maharashtra: 1. Akola 2. Amravati 3. Dhule 4. Latur 5. Nanded 6. Ratnagiri 7. Sindhudurg 8. Aurangabad 9. Nagpur 10. Palghar 11. Raigad 12. Ahmednagar 13. Solapur 14. Jalgaon 15. Nashik 16. Satara 17. Sangli 18. Kolhapur 19. Thane 20. Pune 21. Mumbai Sub. 22. Mumbai City

Gujarat: 1. Amreli 2. Bhavnagar 3. Botad 4. Devbhoomi Dwarka 5. Gir Somnath 6. Jamnagar 7. Mehsana 8. Morbi 9. Patan 10. Porbandar 11. Valsad 12. Anand 13. Bharuch 14. Kheda 15. Surendranagar 16. Banaskantha 17. Junagadh 18. Kutch 19. Navsari 20. Vadodara 21. Rajkot 22. Surat 23. Ahmedabad.

Chandigarh

Haryana: 1. Ambala 2. Bhiwani 3. Faridabad 4. Fatehabad 5. Gurgoan 6. Hissar 7. Jind 8. Kaithal 9. Karnal 10. Mahendragarh 11. Rewari 12. Rohatak 13. Sirsa 14. Sonipat 15. Yamuna Nagar

Uttarakhand: 1. Dehradun 2. Pithoragarh

Punjab: 1. Amritsar 2. Barnala 3. Bhatinda 4. Fatehgarh Sahib 5. Hoshiarpur 6. Jalandhar 7. Kapurthala 8. Ludhiana 9. Mansa 10. Pathankot 11. Patiala 12. Sangrur

Himachal Pradesh: 1. Hamirpur 2. Kangra 3. Mandi

Jammu and Kashmir: Jammu and Srinagar

Andhra Pradesh: 1. Srikakulam 2. Vizianagaram 3. Visakhapatnam 4. East Godavari 5. West Godavari 6. Krishna 7. Guntur 8. Prakasham 9. Nellore 10. Kadapa 11. Kurnool 12. Anantapur

Karnataka: 1. Bengaluru Urban 2. Tumkur 3. Hassan 4. Mandya 5. Mysore 6. Dakshina Kannada 7. Shimoga 8. Uduppi 9. Davanagere 10. Uttara Kannada 11. Belgaum 12. Dharwad 13. Bijapur 14. Gulbarga

Kerala: 1. Alappuzha 2. Ernakulam 3. Kannur 4. Kasaragod 5. Kollam 6. Kottayam 7. Kozhikode 8. Malappuram 9. Palakkad 10. Pathanamthitta 11. Thiruvananthapuram 12. Thrissur 13. Wayanad

Tamil Nadu: 1. Cuddalore 2. Krishnagiri 3. Tiruvannamalai 4. Viluppuram 5. Chennai 6. Vellore 7. Coimbatore 8. Erode 9. Tirupur 10. Salem 11. Namakkal 12. Dharmapuri 13. Kanyakumari 14. Tirunelveli 15. Thoothukudi 16. Sivagangai 17. Madurai 18. Dindigul 19. Pudukkottai 20. Tiruchirappalli 21. Karur 22. Thanjavur 23. Kallakuruchi 24. Tenkasi

Telangana: 1. Mancherial 2. Peddapalli 3. Warangal (Rural) 4. Warangal( Urban) 5. Rangareddy 6. Hyderabad 7. Khammam

Goa: 1. North Goa 2. South Goa

Puducherry

Assam: 1. Barpeta 2. Cachar 3. Kamrup Metro

Tripura: 1. North Tripura 2. West Tripura

Bihar: 1. Bauxar 2. Bhagalpur 3. Bhojpur 4. Dharbhanga 5. Gaya 6. Muzzafarpur 7. Nalanda 8. Patna 9. Rohtas 10. Samastipur 11. Saran 12. Begusarai 13. Nawada

Chhattisgarh: 1. Raipur 2. Durg

Jharkhand: 1. Bokaro 2. Dhanbad 3. East Singbhum 4. RanchiOdisha: 1. Balasore 2. Bhadrak 3. Cuttack 4. Ganjam 5. Jajpur 6. Khorda 7. Mayurbhanj 8. Sambalpur

West Bengal: 1. Purba Medinipur 2. Darjeeling 3. Birbhum 4. North 24 Parganas 5. Kochbehar 6. Paschim Bardhaman 7. Puba Bardhaman 8. Kolkata 9. Purulia 10. South 24 Parganas 11. Bankura 12. Hoogly 13. Uttar Dinajpur 14. Howrah 15. Dakshin Dinajpur 16. Malda 17. Murshidabad 18. Nadia 19. Paschim Medinipur

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Will there be any penalty on jewellers for non-compliance with the hallmarking norm?

Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Piyush Goyal has said that “no penalty will be imposed till August 2021”.

Are all jewellers covered under the purview of hallmarking?

No. Jewellers with annual turnover up to Rs 40 lakh will be exempted from mandatory hallmarking.

What are the purity standards for gold and silver under the hallmarking scheme?

As per BIS standards, there are three categories of hallmarking based on purity of gold—22 carat, 18 carat and 14 carat. However, the ministry on 15 June announced that “Gold of Additional carats 20, 23 and 24 will also be allowed for Hallmarking.”

The ministry further said that jewellers can continue to buy back old gold jewellery without a hallmark from consumers.

What was the need of making hallmarking mandatory?

India is the biggest consumer of gold. However, the level of hallmarked jewellery is very low in the country. According to the ministry, at present, only 30% of Indian gold jewellery is hallmarked.

One of the reasons responsible for low level of hallmarked jewellery is non-availability of sufficient assaying and hallmarking centres (A&HC). There are about only 35,879 jewellers across the country, who are certified by BIS. The number of A&HC is 945.

According to the ministry, one A&H centre can hallmark 1500 articles in a day and the estimated hallmarking capacity of A&H centres per year is 14 crore articles.

Is this a new move?

The government had announced mandatory hallmarking of gold several years back. However, it could not implement the same and kept postponing the dates. In November 2019, the government had announced the mandatory hallmarking of gold jewellery and artefacts across the country from January 15, 2021.

However, later it extended the date of implementation to June 1, 2021, granting more time to jewellers to register themselves with the BIS in the wake of Covid-19 outbreak. In May this year, it extended the deadline by a fortnight.

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