Duty Lifted on Indian Jewelry

The 5.5% duty on Indian jewelry has been lifted, and Indian diamond and jewelry manufacturers say this will mean better prices for U.S. retailers.

The duty’s lifting was included in the new Generalized Systems of Preferences (GSP), which was tacked onto a trade bill passed by Congress and signed by President Bush.

“Our members were celebrating,” says Johanna Trotter, director of the Indo-Argyle Diamond Council. “Now they will have a chance on some programs that they never did before.”

Amal Jhaveri, president of the Indian Diamond and Colorstone Association, says, “It’s the best thing that could happen for our business. This will definitely help the Indian market.”

Indian diamond jewelry was first declared duty-free under the GSP last August, but the duty was reimposed a month later when the GSP law expired. The new GSP makes the duty’s lifting retroactive through last September, so retailers and manufacturers who paid it are eligible for refunds. For more information on the refunds, go to www.customs.treas.gov, and click on the “Customs Electronic Bulletin Board.”

The new GSP will run through Dec. 31, 2006.