GIA Wants to Know Its Customers Better

The Gemological Institute of America’s (GIA) famed grading lab is enhancing its Know Your Consumer (KYC) program to better insure that only reputable companies are submitting gems.

Beginning today, GIA will ask current laboratory clients to update their personal and business information and to confirm the identity and ownership of their business.

Any company representatives that do business with the GIA will be required to supply certain documents, including a valid government-issued photo identification, as well as information on their legal name, date of birth, and permanent address. Companies will also be required to disclose any authorized third-party representatives.

Clients will also have to sign and submit a digital client agreement. GIA’s current client agreement can be seen here.

This information and these documents will also be required of new clients going forward.

All the info provided to GIA will remain confidential, in accordance with applicable laws and contracts.

Clients can learn more about the documentation requirements and process here.

A GIA statement said this new beefed-up KYC program “compli[es] with applicable laws, regulations, and best practices.… These requirements are recognized globally and are not unique to GIA.”

“GIA will only conduct business with reputable customers, suppliers, and other third parties involved in legitimate business activities whose funds are derived from legitimate sources,” said Elizabeth Keating, GIA’s chief ethics and compliance officer, in a statement. “We have a responsibility to make all reasonable efforts to determine the true identity and ownership of client accounts, their source of funds, and the nature of their business. This is a global best practice.”

At a recent U.S. State Department meeting with industry associations, the government representatives stressed the importance of following the anti–money laundering rules enshrined in the USA Patriot Act, which generally involves following established KYC standards.

(Image courtesy of the Gemological Institute of America)

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JCK News Director