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Thailand Jewelry Industry to Benefit from New Tax Measures Approved by Government

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(Press Release)
BANGKOK – The Gems, Jewelry and Precious Metal Confederation ofThailand (GJPCT) and the Thai Gem and Jewelry Traders Association (TGJTA) announce that the Thai government has approved tax measures aimed at driving forward the country’s gems and jewelry industry.

Somchai Phornchindarak, president of the Gems, Jewelry and Precious Metal Confederation of Thailand (GJPCT), has welcomed the announcement by the Thai government of a tranche of new measures that will promote the country’s gems and jewelry industry.

On May 24, the Thai government’s special Executive Committee to Develop Export Capacity passed a bill that liberates the import of gems and jewelry into the country.

“These measures represent a huge step forward for the industry,” says Phornchindarak. “It shows how the government and the industry associations are working hand-in-hand to promote the trade of gems and diamonds in Thailand.”

Specifically, the legislation includes:

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  • Exemption of VAT permanently for import of finished diamonds and gemstones;
  • Exemption of VAT permanently for import of rough stones for manufacturing and sale;
  • Exemption of import duty permanently on machinery and tools that enhance manufacturing, efficiency and essential materials such as polish blades and diamond dust; and
  • Exemption of import duty permanently for silver and gold chain coils and rolls.

Discussions are still ongoing for establishing a diamond colorstone exchange (bourse) for gems and jewelry trading, and the establishment of a more workable gems bank.

“These measures constitute the liberalization of Thailand’s gems and jewelry trade,” says Phornchindarak. “It allows us to attract more buyers and sellers to gems and jewelry tradeshows, such as the Thailand Gems and Jewelry Fair, and increase investment in Thailand.”

Phornchindarak added that the legislation is the result of extensive discussions with the government by both the GJPCT and the TGJTA over a number of years. “This is a great achievement by the GJPCT and TGJTA. It paves the way for the Thai gems and jewelry industry to grow tremendously in the future,” he says.

It is estimated that previous temporary tax incentives announced earlier this year by the Thai Cabinet will generate at least $109 million for the Thai economy per year, a trend that is set to continue with the new tranche of incentives.

The measures constitute part of the TGJTA’s continuous efforts to implement its five-year plan, namely to:

  • Foster a strong relationship with the Royal Thai Government to solve industry challenges together;
  • Attract natural resources and raw materials to Thailand;
  • Increase both the quantity and quality of skilled manpower;
  • Build international relationships to attract foreign traders;
  • Open new markets to increase the customer base for members;
  • Maintain and secure existing markets;
  • Develop the domestic market inside Thailand;
  • Create greater sources of finance for SMEs; and
  • Promote and encourage greater knowledge-building for members.

Suttipong Damrongsakul, president of the TGJTA, is confident that with the continuing support of the government, Thailand can become Asia’s gems and jewelry hub. “The passing of these tax incentives represents a major step that will benefit Thailand’s gems and jewelry manufacturers and traders,” he says. “It will also simplify procedures for international traders doing business in the country.”

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The GJPCT and TGJTA will co-organize the Thailand Gems and Jewelry Fair (TGJF) from September 7-11 at IMPACT, Muang Thong Thani in Bangkok, Thailand. Open to both Thai and international companies, as well as the general public, TGJF is held over an area of 60,000 square meters, consisting of 3,000 booths featuring companies from all over the world. The organizers expect that more than 30,000 visitors will participate at the event.

Somchai Phornchindarak, president of the GJPCT (left) and Suttipong Damrongsakul, president of the TGJTA (right), announce that the Thai government has approved tax measures aimed at driving forward the country’s gems and jewelry industry.

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CIBJO Releases Responsible Sourcing Report

It describes principles applicable to all members of industry.

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(PRESS RELEASE) MILAN, ITALY — With fewer than nine weeks to go to the opening of the 2019 CIBJO Congress in Manama, Bahrain, on November 18, 2019, the second of the CIBJO commissions’ special reports has been released. Prepared by the CIBJO Responsible Sourcing Commission, headed by Philip Olden, the report provides an overview of the first Responsible Sourcing Blue Book, which was approved in January of this year. It defines a universally agreed-to set of recommended responsible sourcing principles, which can be applied by all members of the greater jewelry industry.

“CIBJO has steadfastly stated that no ethical member or company in the jewelry business should be denied the opportunity to participate because, at any particular point in time, it lacks the financial capacity to meet the demands of a compliance system. At the same time, CIBJO does not accept the contention that a company with limited financial resources should be exempt from conducting any form of responsible sourcing due diligence,” writes Mr. Olden.

“The Responsible Sourcing Blue Book indicates what initial steps can be taken at minimal expense and effort, and proposes a program of continual improvement, which companies can apply at their own pace,” Mr. Olden adds. The system suggested is based on the OECD’s Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas.

The special report also outlines a program that CIBJO’ Responsible Sourcing Commission has initiated with the Colored Gemstone Working Group, facilitated by The Dragonfly Initiative, involving the creation of an online toolkit that will provide supporting documentation to help companies address the Responsible Sourcing Blue Book guidance. It will be presented at the upcoming CIBJO Congress in Bahrain, and subsequently will be made available to the industry at no cost.

To download a full copy of the report, click here.

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Gemfind Digital Solutions Announces Launch of DiamondLink App E-Commerce Edition

It lets jewelers sell diamonds directly online from curated vendors.

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(PRESS RELEASE) DiamondLink, GemFind’s well-known retail diamond sourcing app that allows retailers to curate a list of diamond suppliers for shopping on their website, has announced the launch of its E-Commerce edition for WordPress, Magento 2.0 and Shopify platforms.

The E-Commerce Edition brings GemFind to a new level, enabling jewelers to sell diamonds from their vendors directly on their website. By using this new edition of GemFind, independent retailers can not only sell diamonds online, but also select diamond qualities they wish to put for sale on their website — fully utilizing search engine optimization (SEO) in the process. With Click reports jewelers have access to data analytics on who was looking at their diamond list and when. Multicurrency – enables jewelers to open their websites to international customers with automatic currency conversion.

“The DiamondLink E-Commerce Edition is something I have long been waiting for,” said Greg Dolkarian from Derco Diamonds in San Francisco. “Not only can I access diamonds from my own customized list of diamond companies, I can go head-to-head with web-based diamond companies in the online space and enhance the ease of purchase of diamonds for engagement rings for my customers.”

The E-Commerce edition of DiamondLink also allows retailers to sell diamonds in real time without owning them and includes availability for dropship options directly from several diamond companies to the consumer. “The DiamondLink E-Commerce edition enables retailers to compete at the same level with major diamond selling websites, while taking advantage of the unique customization of their diamond inventory, noted Alex Fetanat, founder and Chief Executive Officer of GemFind. “Jeweler-curated virtual diamond inventory, coupled with critical online tools, will develop significant traffic and sales.”

While retail jewelers have used DiamondLink for over 15 years, the E-Commerce edition brings a level of functionality and ease-of-use apps that will be available on Magento, WordPress and Shopify stores. This function, combined with GemFind’s other digital marketing tools that include RingBuilder, web development, social media, geofencing, and pay per click (PPC) management, provides jewelers what is essentially a virtual salesman added to their sales team.

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Plumb Club to Require Members to Join RJC

It’s the first organization of its kind with such a policy.

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(Press Release) NEW YORK – The Plumb Club announced that its members voted to require all new and existing Plumb Club members to become Certified Members of the Responsible Jewellery Council. The Plumb Club, a current RJC association member, is the first organization of its kind to require its members to follow the RJC Code of Practices.

The new requirement underscores The Plumb Club’s purpose to “connect its members and their customers and help shape the future of the jewelry industry.”

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The RJC will collaborate with current and future Plumb Club members to ensure they adopt the RJC Code of Practices and effectively communicate their RJC membership status to their customers and business partners.

“Our new By-Law confirms The Plumb Club’s vision of being a responsible supply side organization recognized for leadership, adding value, and positively impacting the jewelry industry,” said Michael Lerche, Plumb Club president. “We strongly believe that any jewelry retailer who buys product from a non-RJC member is taking a very serious and unnecessary risk. Buying product from a Plumb Club member will greatly mitigate that risk.”

“The Plumb Club’s actions set a clear leadership example for other trade associations and member organizations within the jewelry industry. The Plumb Club’s model of cascading RJC membership through its members is a model for other associations to confidently follow,” said David Bouffard, chair of the Responsible Jewellery Council. “At the RJC, we believe that building consumer confidence is not only important for the future of our industry, but is also an imperative that can be acted on today by joining the RJC.”

Both Lerche and Bouffard called for all current and perspective RJC association members to cascade RJC membership throughout their organizations.

“Having a standardized universal code of practices throughout our industry that the retailer, consumer and even our government, can rely upon to guarantee that these products are the most responsibly sourced and ethically produced in the marketplace is critical. Today, we call on the entire jewelry industry to support the Responsible Jewellery Council and work with us in finding a way for every supplier and retailer in our industry to become a member,” said Lerche.

“As Chair of the RJC, I ask other trade associations within our industry to follow the leadership of The Plumb Club: require your members to join the RJC,” exclaimed Bouffard. “The RJC has a team ready and willing to help your organization develop its own model of cascading RJC membership.”

All certified members of the RJC are able to point their customers and business partners to the RJC’s publicly available Code of Practices to validate how the products they buy and sell are responsibly sourced. The RJC verifies its Code of Practices through full membership of the ISEAL Alliance. RJC members must become certified against the Code of Practices through a third party, independent, certification process. The RJC Code is aligned with international standards from the Organisation of Economic Co-Operation and Development and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

For more information about The Plumb Club, visit https://plumbclub.com/. For more information about the Responsible Jewelry Council, visit https://www.responsiblejewellery.com/.

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