G7 to phase in direct, indirect bans of Russian diamonds

G7 to phase in direct, indirect bans of Russian diamonds


G7 to phase in direct, indirect bans of Russian diamonds

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The Group of Seven countries announced a direct ban on Russian diamonds starting Jan. 1 followed by phased-in restrictions on indirect imports of Russian gems from around March 1, a statement said on Wednesday.

The G7 has been weighing various proposals for how to restrict the import of Russian diamonds and the European Union has proposed a package that includes a diamond ban but was waiting for coordination from the G7 to move forward.

The G7 will phase in restrictions on indirect imports from a targeted date of March and introduce a "robust traceability-based verification and certification" mechanism for rough diamonds within the G7 by Sept. 1, 2024. The ban excludes diamonds for industrial use.

The announcement also does not include the tracing of polished stones, an element included in the proposals, including one by Belgium designed on the EU's behalf, nor does it mention the carat size.

Diamonds represent an important sector of Belgium. Antwerp has the world's main diamond hub and most of the world's rough stones transit through the city even though they are now mostly cut in India.

"I am pleased that the G7 applied the central principles of the Belgian proposal," Belgium Prime Minister Alexander de Croo said.

"The traceability system launched today is another step in the pioneering work Belgium started 25 years ago in the fight against blood diamonds. The G7 declaration offers the Antwerp diamond sector a unique opportunity to further develop into the trading centre of 'clean' diamonds."