Tuesday, May 20, 2008

IGI, Brinks Collaborate to Bring Services to Shanghai Diamond Exchange

Shanghai, China: The International Gemological Institute (IGI) and its strategic partner, Brink’s Far East Ltd., today jointly announced the initiation of IGI certification services exclusively for Shanghai Diamond Exchange (SDE) members.

Under a collaboration agreement, SDE members who send their diamonds, gemstones and jewelry to IGI for analysis, grading and certification, will receive complimentary shipping services provided by Brink’s, from its SDE counter to the IGI Hong Kong lab and then back to the SDE, point-to-point.

Initially, there will be a weekly turn-around service, the frequency of which may be increased, dependent on demand patterns.

“In response to the increasing demand for IGI Reports in mainland China and at all levels of the diamond pipeline, we felt it imperative to offer our clients easy access to our services. We provide SDE members the opportunity to certify their goods at IGI, with the added benefit of free shipping from Shanghai to IGI Hong Kong,” said Marc Brauner, CEO of IGI Hong Kong.

Encouraged by the recently reviewed China import taxation laws that state diamonds that remain within the SDE can be shipped to Hong Kong and back to China without being taxed again, IGI and Brink’s opted to launch the same strategy the partners used with Israeli diamond companies shipping gemstones between Tel Aviv and IGI Antwerp daily for more than 10 years. Due to IGI/Brink’s collaboration agreements, no shipping or insurance costs were charged.

“We are very excited about the prospect of actively contributing to the growth of China’s diamond trade,” said Sally Lee, senior manager of the China business development unit at Brink’s. “SDE members will benefit from Brink’s world-class professional shipping services when choosing to certify with internationally recognized laboratory, IGI; this will save them money—and time—which is absolutely vital to the trade.”

In addition to its global network, Brink’s has five operational addresses in Hong Kong, and offices in Beijing, Qingdao, Shenzhen and Shanghai, where, as a member of SDE since 2002, its service counter is right inside the exchange.

Brauner added, “We have been monitoring the development of the Chinese market for many years and are acutely aware there has been rapid growth of the SDE membership since the announcement was made to reduce value added tax (VAT) to four percent for the diamond trade – in July 2006. This opportunity has come to us at a time when we must respond to the market. ”

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