India has waived its 2 percent import duty on cut and polished diamonds sent abroad for certification or grading purposes. The exemption follows the introduction of a 2 percent import tax on polished stones on January 17, 2012 that led to confusion regarding stones returned from laboratories abroad.
”We were in talks with the government to ensure that diamonds sent for certification purposes should go out and come back easily without duty,” said Rajiv Jain, the chairman of the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC). ”Everything is sorted out now.”
The government explained in a notification that such duty will not be applicable on re-importing cut and polished diamonds (each of 0.25 carat or more) sent for certification or grading abroad to certain authorized laboratories.
The authorized laboratories include the Indian Diamond Institute, Gujarat; American Gem Society Laboratories, Nevada; Central Gem Laboratory, Japan; Diamond Trading Company, U.K.; European Gemological Laboratory, U.S.; Gemological Institute of America, U.S.; Hoge Road Voor Diamond, Antwerp, (HRD); International Diamond Laboratories DMCC, Dubai; The Robert Mouawad Campus, International Gemological Institute, U.S.; and World Diamond Centre of Diamonds High Council, Belgium.
The government noted that an exporter with annual export turnover of $1 million (INR 50 million) for each of the last three years may export cut and polished diamonds abroad to any of the above laboratories without being charged the duty provided the stones are returned within three months of the date of export.
The absence of notification about the tax treatment on such goods had until now created confusion among customs officials, affecting the supply of polished to the local market.