President Bush has signed the Tom Lantos Block Burmese JADE Act of 2008, designed to punish Burma's brutal ruling regime by banning the importation of rubies and jade from that country into the United States. Congress approved the bill July 22. Experts said the act closes a loophole that allowed stones to be cut outside Burma and thus not be considered Burmese when imported. The bill notes that “industry sources estimate that over $100 million annually in Burmese rubies and jade enters the United States.” The ban does not apply to Burmese jadeite or rubies imported for personal use, Jewelers Vigilance Committee says. It also does not apply to exports of Burmese rubies or jadeite from the United States, or Burmese rubies or jadeite that were in the United States before the ban and then exported from the United States when they are reimported by the same person. JVC says the U.