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Kimberley Process Presents Roadmap for CAR Compliance

Jun 30, 2015 1:14 AM   By Avi Krawitz
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RAPAPORT... The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) has developed a work plan to resume rough diamond exports from the Central African Republic (CAR), which would partially end the current sanctions on the country’s diamond exports.

Bernado Campos, Angola’s chairman of the Kimberley Process, notified participants of the decision following the organization’s intercessional meeting that took place in Angola this past week. (See full "Operational Framework" document here).

He explained that Kimberley Process participants and observers reached an understanding that CAR may commence exporting rough diamonds upon full implementation of a proposed operational framework and pending completion of a proposed Kimberley Process review mission to the country. CAR has been suspended from the Kimberley Process since May 2013.

The lifting of sanctions would only apply to compliant zones, which are under sufficient government control and where there is no evidence of a systematic, rebel-based or army group activity that impacts the diamond trade, the group stated.

A monitoring team is being created to determine the compliant zones, examine the proposed exports to assess a diamond footprint and review the implementation of internal controls pertaining to diamond exports. The monitoring team will also facilitate a forensic audit of rough diamond stockpiles before any of the current inventory is exported.

CAR is reported to be holding a stockpile of 66,000 carats valued at between $6 million and $12 million.

Edward Asscher, president of the World Diamond Council (WDC), which represents the diamond industry at the KPCS, explained to Rapaport News that the stockpile includes diamonds recovered before the sanctions were implemented along with goods that have been recovered since May 2013. “Those goods recovered during the sanction period will not be allowed to be exported,” he stressed. “Even if the country is compliant, those contaminated goods cannot be sold.”

Asscher said the Kimberley Process’s aim is to bring CAR into compliance within three to six months, but he anticipates the issue will be on the agenda again at the annual plenary meeting scheduled for November. 

The Next Chair

Other issues that were on the agenda at the intersessional meeting included the appointment of a vice chair of the KPCS to succeed Angola as chair in 2016 and Venezuela’s voluntary exclusion from the Kimberley Process.

Asscher noted that representatives from Venezuela were present at the meeting and that the country is preparing to rejoin the Kimberley Process. The representatives stated there is currently no rough production taking place in Venezuela, he reported.

Asscher added that negotiations are still under way to appoint the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as the next Kimberley Process chair. Among the conditions required, the UAE must submit to a review mission before the end of this year and it must embark on joint projects with civil society that would explore issues of supply chain management systems and a study on transfer pricing, among other topics.

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Tags: Angola, asscher, Avi Krawitz, Conflict Diamonds, diamonds, Kimberley Process
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