Industry officials respond to USA PATRIOTS Act proposal

A coalition of leading jewelry and precious metal trade associations presented to the Treasury Department a comprehensive document commenting on the proposed rules for compliance with the USA PATRIOTS Act, says a statement on the Jewelers Vigilance Committee Web site.

The rules require businesses to implement anti-money laundering programs. The document represents the jewelry industry’s efforts to help the U.S. government better refine programs designed to prevent the laundering of funds to finance criminal activities through jewelry businesses. The submission of the document coincides with the special comments period, which began March 5 and ends on Tuesday.

The comments were signed by officials representing JVC, Jewelers of America, Manufacturing Jewelers and Suppliers of America, American Gem Trade Association, Diamond Manufacturer and Importers of America, American Gem Society, Diamond Dealers Club of New York, Stuller Settings Inc., and Sterling Jewelers Inc.

The formal comments are published on the JVC Web site. To read the document, click here.

On February 21st, the U.S. Treasury Department published proposed regulations that will require every “dealer in precious metals, gemstones or jewels” to develop and implement an anti-money laundering program, the statement on the JVC Web site says. These proposed regulations will require that all businesses in our industry conduct a self analysis of business practices to determine the level of risk of exploitation for criminal purposes, a written anti-money laundering program which includes employee training, and auditing of the program on a periodic basis. The proposed regulation encourages (but does not require) suspicious activity reporting.

The regulations will apply to “manufacturers, refiners, wholesalers, retailers and any other entity engaged in the business of purchasing and selling precious metals precious stones or jewelry.” There is a monetary threshold for application of the rule to any business that purchased or received the proceeds of transactions involving precious metals, gemstones or jewels in excess of $50,000.

The Treasury will issue the final rule, and there will be a period of 90 days to bring businesses into compliance. To view the entire published proposal on the JVC Web site, click here.