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U.K. 'Red Tape Challenge' Ends in Support of Hallmarking Scheme

Jul 28, 2011 5:21 PM   By Ricci Dipshan
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RAPAPORT... The Birmingham Assay Office announced that hallmarking in the U.K. is no longer under political threat following the results of a "Red Tape Challenge" that demonstrated  retailers, manufacturers, designers and consumers alike see hallmarking as a vital piece of consumer protection.

Support for U.K. hallmarking also came from the main trade associations, as well as politicians and other local supporters of The Birmingham Assay Office.  Current U.K. hallmarking legislation requires all except the most lightweight precious metal items to be independently tested and hallmarked by an Assay Office to verify their precious metal content prior to sale.

Hallmarking ensures that the precious metal alloys, from which jewelry or silverware is made, contain the requisite percentage of high value precious metal.  Hallmarking therefore protects the consumer and ensures that suppliers are competing on a level playing field; particularly important when precious metal prices are at an all time high.

Michael Allchin,  The Birmingham Assay Office's chief executive,  said, ''Inevitably The Birmingham Assay Office strongly believes that hallmarking is vital to protect the trade and the consumer and to maintain consumer confidence in our industry. We are extremely pleased that the outcome of the Red Tape Challenge has endorsed our rigorous independent regime as we believe this in the best interests of the U.K. jewelry industry.''

The Minister for Business and Enterprise, Mark Prisk, charged that hallmarking had some confusing and overlapping regulations, which were to be scrapped, but concluded that  “we are preserving good regulation, such as the hallmarking regime, for which there was strong support.''

Tags: challenge, hallmarking, metal, Red Tape Challenge, Ricci Dipshan, u.k.
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