December 9, 2002
U.S. Has New Agency to Issue Kimberley Certificates
The Diamond Manufacturers & Importers Association of America formed the Rough Diamond Export Mechanism Ltd., charged with fulfilling the American diamond industry's commitment implementing the Kimberley Process, an international certification system for rough diamonds. The creation of RDEM resulted from close cooperation with U.S. government agencies and industry shipping companies involved exporting rough diamonds from the U.S.
RDEM will be the issuing authority for the Kimberley Certificates for exports of rough diamonds from the U.S. Under terms of the Kimberley process, these certificates will be required by the U.S. as of Jan. 1, 2003. RDEM will enter into licensing agreements with major freight forwarders who presently service the diamond industry. The licensees will then be authorized to issue Kimberley Certificates to their customers upon receipt of properly completed application forms.
RDEM will require certificates be issued consistent with U.S. Transportation Security Administration procedures and have validating numbers from the Automated Export System of the U.S. Census Bureau. RDEM will serve as the first point of contact for authorized inquiries about Kimberley Process procedures regarding rough diamond exports. It will also serve as an assurance to all stakeholders that the system is fully functional and transparent.
"The creation of RDEM represents the product of an ongoing effort by the entire diamond industry to fulfill a moral obligation to end the trade in conflict diamonds and is consistent with the U.S. Government's commitment to the implementation of Kimberley," says Cecilia Gardner, executive director and general counsel of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee, who provided legal assistance to DMIA.
DMIA has been a longstanding supporter of United Nations mandates, resolutions and the Kimberley Process goals of creating a system to control the international trade in rough diamonds for the purpose of ending the link of this trade to funding conflicts in Africa. "RDEM was designed to insure compliance with our Kimberley Process obligations with the intention of making compliance credible and practical," says DMIA President Leon Cohen. "DMIA has played an active role in the development of the Kimberley Process and in bringing industry support to its implementation."