JA Provides Guidance on Burma Gem Ban

Jewelers of America sent its members updated guidance on the Tom Lantos Block Burmese JADE (Junta’s Anti-Democratic Efforts) Act of 2008, which banned the import of Burmese rubies and jadeite, effective Sept. 27, 2008.

The guidance includes the latest U.S. Customs and Border Protection rules on imports of non-Burmese rubies and jadeite. After several interim updates, the agency issued its most recent update on March 18.

The guidance includes bullet points outlining “What You Need to Know” and “What You Need to Do,” and offers specific information for retailers who are directly importing rubies and jadeite from overseas, as well as for those who are not importers.

Jewelers of America tells retailers who are not direct importers to require assurances from their suppliers, when purchasing rubies or jadeite, that suppliers are sourcing non-Burmese rubies and jadeite in compliance with the strict import rules put in place by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, to ensure Burmese gems are not intermingled with their non-Burmese counterparts.

The guidance also contains “Talking Points” to help jewelers answer questions from consumers, the press, or human rights groups, all of whom have taken an interest in the Burma gem ban. Representatives from each of these groups have already contacted Jewelers of America members.

Jewelers of America members can also take advantage of the association’s Sample Policy Statement on the Burmese gem ban that’s provided, which they can cut and paste onto their own letterheads and give to consumers, display in-store or post to their websites.

Members of the trade seeking more information, especially detailed information for direct importers on compliance with the Tom Lantos Block Burmese JADE Act of 2008, can also visit the Jewelers Vigilance Committee Web site. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection Web site also provides specific information on the new import rules for non-Burmese ruby and jadeite:  http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/trade/trade_programs/cargo_summary/laws/public_law/.