Customs exempts import duty on cut and polished diamonds to authorised agencies and offices

The duty free import is applicable for cut and polished diamonds of 0.25 carat and above.

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The government has exempted the customs duty payable on the imports of cut and polished diamonds during the period from the March 9, 2012 to March 1, 2017.

The given benefit is applicable on diamonds of 0.25 carat and above that are exported abroad for certification and grading. In its latest notification No.21/2017-Customs dated May 23, 2017, the office of Customs says, “the Central Government, hereby, directs that the whole of duty of Customs and additional duty of Customs, if any, payable on the import of such cut and polished diamonds during the period from the March 9, 2012 to March 1, 2017 by the authorised agencies/offices in India of laboratories mentioned under para 4.74 of the Hand Book of Procedure, but for the said practice, shall not be required to be paid in respect of import of such cut and polished diamonds, the Finance Ministry said in its notification (No.21/2017-Customs) on Monday.”

The import duty on cut and polished diamonds was withdrawn in 2007 and reintroduced in January, 2012. In order to accommodate the change, the Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) 2009-2014 too was amended to extend the benefit of duty free import of such products to those class of exporters who got certification from abroad. However the FTP forgot to extend the same benefit to Indian laboratories, agencies and offices authorised to import cut and polished diamonds into India. With this amendment and the notification the authorised laboratories mentioned in para 4.74 of the Handbook of Procedure of FTP having offices/agencies in India are exempted from paying the whole of duty of Customs and additional duty of Customs, beginning from March 9, 2012 to March 01, 2017.

The following authorised laboratories are mentioned in the HBS certification/grading of diamonds:

  • International Gemological Institute (IG), Hong Kong
  • American Gem Society Laboratories (AGS)
  • Central Gem Laboratory, Japan
  • Diamond Trading Company, UK
  • European Gemological Laboratory (EGL) USA
  • Gemological Institute of America (GIA), USA
  • Hoge Road Voor Diamond, Belgium
  • International Diamond Laboratories DMCC, Dubai
  • The Robert Mouawad Campus, International Gemological Institute (IGI) USA
  • World Diamond Centre of Diamonds High Council, Belgium
  • GIA Hong Kong Laboratory Ltd, Hong Kong
  • Gemological Research (Thailand) Co Ltd, Thailand
  • GIA Education and Laboratory (Pvt) Ltd, South Africa
  • GIA Education and Laboratory, Botswana
  • Forevermark NV, Antwerp, Belgium
  • International Gemological Institute (IG) Belgium

India’s rough diamond imports stood at $17.28 billion during April-February period of 2016-17, according to the data mentioned in the Ministry of Commerce.

 
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