The “Tom Lantos Block Burmese JADE Act of 2008” took effect Monday. As a result, jadeite and rubies of Myanmar origin cannot be imported into the United States. This importation ban encompasses all Burmese origin jadeite and rubies, notwithstanding “substantial transformation” in Thailand or elsewhere.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection have issued new Harmonized Tariff System codes for all non-Burmese rubies and jadeite imported into the U.S., the Jewelers Vigilance Committee said in a statement Monday. Shipments of rubies and jadeite from these non-Burmese sources must use these codes when entering the U.S.
For a detailed list of these new codes (encompassing rough and polished gemstones covered by the Act, as well as jewelry containing ruby and jadeite) contact JVC.
President Bush issued a proclamation stating that various US government agencies, including Homeland Security, Customs, State, Treasury, and the U.S. Trade Representative would take up the implementation of various requirements of the Act.
The importation ban does not apply to Burmese jadeite or rubies that are imported for personal use, meaning for personal wear by the importer, JVC said. The bill does not address U.S. sales of any inventory of Burmese jadeite or rubies currently in the U.S. Jewelers can sell existing inventories of Burmese jadeite and rubies already in the country.
“The ‘Tom Lantos Block Burmese JADE Act of 2008’ has serious and long-term impact on U.S. jewelry manufacturers who import jadeite and rubies,” said Cecilia Gardner, JVC president, chief executive officer, and general counsel. “Use of the new Customs Codes should begin immediately for all imports from non-Burmese countries of ruby and jadeite.”