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Moscow Chamber of Commerce and Industry holds round table on jewelry industry problems

22 february 2021
         Image credit: MCCI

Last Tuesday, the Moscow Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) held an event to award the winners of the prestigious Russian Diamond Line 2020 jewelry contest, which brought together the country’s leading jewelry industry experts. The winning jewelry could be admired right in the ceremonial hall at the Moscow Jewelry Podium exhibition.
Within the framework of the event, a round table was held on the topic “Russian jewelry industry-2021. Problems and Prospects” with the participation of industry experts. According to the participants, the greatest current concern is caused by the difficulties associated with the mandatory hallmarking of jewelry insisted on by the Government of the Russian Federation.
Flun Gumerov, Chairman, Council of the Jewelers Guild of Russia Association, while making a presentation said that the delay in the implementation of the above-mentioned control system is due to the complexities in developing a technique to apply QR codes to metal and creating an appropriate software. He said: “The government decree has not been signed yet. Currently, a difficult negotiation process is underway, during which an intensive search for ways to introduce a product traceability system in the jewelry industry continues, redundant requirements are removed and solutions mutually acceptable with the market regulator are achieved." The speaker further added: “QR codes are not applied to metal or read on metal anywhere in the world.” Russia is the first to introduce this system of control over the movement of precious metals and precious stones.
Along with the difficulties of applying and reading QR codes, industry experts note a possible decrease in demand for Russian jewelry goods in the international market due to the appearance of a black spot of the code on them. This may lead to an increase in the export of capital from Russia and the transfer of jewelry production to countries where there are more favorable conditions for business. It was noted that today many Russian jewelry houses have production facilities abroad, and the import of jewelry to Russia is already 4.5 times higher than export.
Gumerov expressed the hope that during the upcoming round of negotiations with the country’s Ministry of Finance attended by the Assay Chamber of Russia, law enforcement agencies and all interested parties, "jewelry manufacturers will be able to convince the regulator to solve the tasks at a minimum cost for business."
The proposal to introduce hallmarking into the jewelry industry was formulated in March 2018 at a meeting of the Public Expert Council at the Assay Chamber of Russia. At that time, the position of the Ministry of Finance was outlined by Alexey Moiseev, Deputy Finance Minister, who said that "we must follow the path of hallmarking and tracing the movement of natural stones."
In general, the roundtable participants agreed that due to the peculiarities of the jewelry industry, a permanent platform for interaction with the Ministry of Finance is needed to promptly resolve emerging acute issues. Alexey Shcherbina, Chairman of the Guild of Jewelry Exporters at the Moscow Chamber of Commerce and Industry said: "Our task is to stay in permanent dialogue with the regulator in order to prevent a market collapse."
Another topic of discussion within the framework of the round table was the definition of the legal status of a jewelry artist since uncertainty in this issue leads to an outflow of talented specialists from the industry. At the same time, significant hopes are pinned on the upcoming meeting in the Ministry of Finance in March 2021, at which it is planned to consider this issue.
The discussion of the most pressing problems of the country’s jewelry industry involved the heads of the Jewelers Guild of Russia, creative unions of jewelers-artists, representatives of the Moscow Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Russian Export Center, Moscow Export Center, and other state and public organizations.

Galina Semyonova for Rough&Polished