February 2, 1999
Black Pearls Face Stricter Export Laws
Foreign buyers of Tahitian black cultured pearls from French Polynesia can no longer export their purchases without using a certified local "middleman," mandated by a law passed in January.
Buyers must deal with business approved by the government to export loose cultured pearls, says Perles de Tahiti, the black pearl trade association. Locally certified pearl dealers will soon be required to have government-issued pearl dealer cards to export cultured pearls. The new rules do not apply to finished jewelry.
Exporters must also fill out a classification chart and declare that no lots destined for export fall into the "reject" category, which includes cultured pearls with poor luster or many surface blemishes. For more information, see Perles de Tahiti's Web site at www.tahiti-blackpearls.com.
- by Stacey King