India’s Gem and Jewelery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) and several global bodies dealing in diamond trade have raised concerns about the G7 bloc’s demand to route rough and polished diamonds through Antwerp in Belgium for certification as non-Russian.

The G7 countries – the US, UK, Canada, Germany, France, Italy and Japan – have decided to prohibit imports of Russian-origin diamonds of 1 carat and above starting March 1 (Friday), even if they are cut and polished in a third countries like India. The ban, as part of sanctions imposed on Russia since the start of the Ukraine war, will be extended to diamonds weighing 0.5 carats and above from September 1.

This could particularly hurt the diamond industry in India, which processes nine out of every 10 diamonds found in the world. The country exported more than $13 billion worth of cut and polished diamonds in the first ten months of fiscal 2024, nearly 28% lower compared with a year earlier.

The G7 countries have dumped the Kimberley Process Certification, which was in place all these years to ensure that the diamonds for exports are “conflict-free”.

According to the diamond industry, there is no protocol in place to deduce traceability of diamonds and if everything goes through Antwerp, then it will not meet the objectives of the G7 and may create irreparable damage to the non-Russian diamond industry as well.

By ting