U.S. regulations governing the import and export of rough diamonds were published on May 21, 2008 in the Federal Register http://www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/. The new regulations enhance U.S. Government oversight of the rough diamond trade in an effort to strengthen the international Kimberley Process Certification Scheme.
The new regulations amend current rules by requiring all rough diamond imports to be entered under a formal entry using a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Entry Summary (CBP Form 7501.) Informal entries of rough diamonds valued less than $2,500 will no longer be allowed. Rough diamond importers and exporters also will be required to file an annual report that includes total import and export activity and stockpile information beginning September 2008.
The U.S. adopted the Clean Diamond Trade Act in April 2003 to implement international standards adopted by the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme.
The Kimberley Process is the international initiative launched in 2003 to prevent rough diamonds from being used to finance civil wars such as those witnessed in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Angola in the 1990s.
All U.S. rough diamond imports and exports must be accompanied by Kimberley Process certificates and be shipped in tamper-resistant containers. Rough diamonds may only be imported from or exported to the 74 countries which are participants in the Kimberley Process. Rough diamonds from Cote d’Ivoire are prohibited from entering the U.S. because of a diamond embargo imposed in the United Nations Security Council resolution 1643 of December 2005.
Importers and exporters of rough diamonds must keep copies of all Kimberley Process certificates for five years. All Kimberley Process certificates must be faxed to the U.S. Census Bureau at 1-800-457-7328.
The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report in September 2006 calling for increased U.S. Government oversight of the rough diamond trade.
These amendments address GAO’s recommendations to U.S. Government agencies.