Implementation of Kimberley Process in Question

The launch of the Kimberley Process has been repeatedly delayed, and now no one is sure just when the diamond-tracking system will be implemented.

While Kimberley certificates began being issued in January, it became clear last year that many countries—including the European Union—would not have their Kimberley systems in place by the Jan. 1 deadline. A “grace period” was ordered through Feb. 1, but even that has come and gone without full implementation.

One surprising laggard has been the United States. After reports surfaced linking diamonds with terrorism, the State Department took a leadership role, cajoling other nations to meet the implementation date or else. At the time, the State Department felt that the United States did not need legislation to turn the Kimberley Process into law domestically.

Now it seems Congress disagrees with that view, and industry leaders like Matt Runci of Jewelers of America are again shuttling back and forth to Washington, D.C., trying to pass a bill to establish Kimberley in the United States.