The Kimberley Process (KP) has relaxed its rules for rough exports from the Central African Republic (CAR), enabling the government to approve multiple shipments each month without needing to wait for external authorization.
The decision, which will initially be implemented as a one-year trial, aims to improve the efficiency of CAR’s operations and increase the amount of rough it can export, the World Diamond Council (WDC) said Monday. The KP made the changes during its plenary meeting in New Delhi, India, from November 18 to 22.
Under the new system, the CAR government will issue KP certificates for all rough diamonds exported from the country’s eight green zones — areas the KP has deemed legal and conflict-free. Previously, CAR was only able to make one monthly shipment, which required a waiting time as the government had to gain approval from the KP’s CAR monitoring team prior to each export.
While shipments will still be monitored, some of the burden of verifying provenance will shift to trading centers within CAR, the WDC explained. The CAR government will also be required to provide comprehensive information about rough-diamond exports on a monthly basis. The monitoring team will check that CAR’s certificates match the import records of the countries that receive the diamonds.
Although the onus for assuring all shipments are conflict-free will fall on government authorities, the WDC still urged caution when dealing with CAR diamonds.
“Members of the trade are urged to practice enhanced vigilance when handling rough diamonds believed to have originated from the country,” the WDC stressed. “This should be done by ensuring that import shipments from CAR only include goods that have been sourced from the approved green zones, and always are accompanied by a duly authorized CAR-government KP certificate.”
Image: Person inspecting rough diamonds. (Shutterstock)