August 7, 2003
Kimberley Confirms 53 Participants
A Kimberley Process Certification Scheme committee admitted 53 countries to participate in the program, effective Aug. 31, while 23 nations were dropped. The KPCS was created to protect the worldwide trade in rough diamonds and prevent criminals who exploit diamonds from gaining access to the market. It is a closed system requiring participating countries to regulate their diamond trading systems, export and import rough diamonds in sealed packages and certify the diamonds have been purchased from legitimate sources.
The admitted members have met the minimum requirements to be a part of Kimberley, including passing national laws or regulations to control the diamond trade and getting approval of the certificates that must accompany each sealed package of rough diamonds exported.
The admitted members include: Angola, Armenia, Australia, Belarus, Botswana, Canada, Central African Republic, Peoplešs Republic of China, Chinese Taipei, Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Cote DšIvoire, Croatia, European Community (Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Ireland, Italy, Luxemburg, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom), Guinea, Guyana, Hungary, India, Israel, Japan, Korea, Republic of Laos, Peoples Republic of Lebanon, Lesotho, Mauritius, Namibia, Poland, Russian Federation, Sierra Leone, Slovenia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Tanzania, Thailand, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.
The 23 countries unable to meet the requirements of the KPCS by the July 31 deadline include: Algeria, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Gabon, Ghana, Democratic Peoplešs Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Malta, Mali, Mexico, Norway, Philippines, Romania, Swaziland, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey and Vietnam. The committee urged these countries to continue working on the requirements needed to be admitted to the program, but stressed that after Aug. 31, any country that had not completed its regulations or gained approval for its certificates would no longer be able to trade rough diamonds with the 53 participating countries.
by Peggy Jo Donahue