Wednesday, July 23, 2008

FATF Published Guidance Document for Precious Stones

The Financial Action Task Force has approved a detailed guidance document for the precious stones and metals trades. The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) said in a release that it welcomed the move.

The document lays out how a more sophisticated a risk-based approach can be developed for those who deal in precious metals and stones, including the diamond industry. For the diamond business, this means that the specific concerns of the diamond industry will be taken into account more adequately.

Issues specific to the diamond trade addressed in the document include the physical inspection of diamonds at the official import-export offices, business with registered diamond dealers and bourse members, the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme for rough diamonds and a payment system through recognized and specialized banks.

AWDC notes that it was extensively involved in the consultation process that let to agreement on the guidance document, since the summer of 2007. The approval was announced at the FATF plenary in June.

FATF is an inter-governmental body that works to develop policies to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.

AWDC spokesperson Philip Claes commented, “We welcome the fact that, with its new guidance document, FATF has finally recognized the positive impact that the structure, regulation and supervision of the diamond trade in Antwerp has had in reducing money laundering risk.”

The Belgian government was also involved in finalizing and approving the FATF guidance. AWDC noted that it will work further with the Belgian authorities in establishing a more adequate and efficient money laundering regulation for the diamond industry, which will be based on the new FATF guidance document operate within the framework of Belgium’s implementation of the anticipated third EU directive concerning money laundering.

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