Treasury issues anti-money-laundering rules

The U.S. Treasury Department issued its Patriot Act anti-money laundering rules for the jewelry industry, the Jewelers Vigilance Committee announced Saturday. The rules require jewelry dealers to set up compliance programs within six months. However, it appears to let most jewelers off the hook.

According to the rules, dealers in covered goods (meaning jewels, precious metals, precious stones, and finished goods) will have until January 1, 2006, to implement an anti-money laundering program.

Those programs involve:

* Performing a risk assessment in order to evaluate their particular risks of being exploited for money laundering purposes;

* Appointing a compliance officer to implement the program;

* Designing and implementing an anti-money laundering program, based on prior developed risk assessment;

* Training employees;

* Testing the anti-money laundering program independently to ensure that the program functions as designed.

Most retailers appear not to be required to implement the program – with the exception of retailers who purchase more than $50,000 of covered goods from non-U.S. dealers or members of the public, and sell more than $50,000 of those goods.

Pawnbrokers are also exempted from the rule.

To help companies design anti-money laundering programs, the Jewelers Vigilance Committee had developed the USA PATRIOT Act Compliance Kit.