Crackdown on misdeclaration in India’s diamond trade causing confusion

Diamond traders in India say they are confused about a new Mumbai customs directive that asks importers to provide detailed descriptions of imported goods identifying their origin, size, shape, type, colour and clarity.

The traders are concerned that the slightest discrepancy between goods and documents could result in them inadvertently having to pay massive fines.

This could potentially affect the processing of diamonds in the country’s leading cutting and polishing hub, Surat in the west Indian state of Gujarat.

OCC directive
The Office of the Commissioner of Customs (OCC), Mumbai has directed importers and exporters to provide detailed and accurate descriptions of all imports in shipping documents.

The OCC says it has issued the directive because of misdeclaration of goods and values by both importers and exporters.

The customs office says that historically it has been “standard practice” for labelling all goods as rough diamonds regardless of their actual state and quality.

Directive criticised

But the directive has been criticised by traders who argue that the OCC has not issued a set of uniform descriptions that it can refer to and make sure that they accurately describe the goods being traded.

The traders say that without uniform descriptions they will be unable to determine whether they have provided descriptions sufficiently adequate for customs and they fear that even a minor discrepancy found in a shipment could cause seizure of goods and attract hefty fines.

Categories: Trade Based Financial crimes News

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