Belgium is the only country in the European Union and one of the few countries globally that uses a specific license system for the import and export of all diamonds (rough, polished, industrial, powder and synthetic diamonds).
The Ministry of Economic Affairs (Licensing Office) and the Ministry of Finance (Customs) administer this system, which was established in 1944.
The aim is to collect data regarding the qualification, the weight and the value of the imported or exported diamonds on the basis of licenses (non-EU) or statistical reports (EU) in order to get a complete supervision.
Furthermore, all diamond dealers and manufactures are annually obliged to submit a declaration to the Ministry of Economic Affairs about the stock and activities, allowing to check the collected data.
In present practice, the license system implies that in Belgium an import or export license is required for every shipment, which you respectively want to import from or want to export to non-EU-countries.The license system is not applicable for the import and the export of diamonds from and to other EU member countries.
The following documents are used since the creation of the internal EU market (1992): Statistical report of receipt/import of diamonds and Statistical report of shipment/export of diamonds.To receive an import or export license, the diamond dealer has to complete an application form accompanied by an invoice for every transaction. The data have to be as precise as possible (applicant, country of origin, country of provenance, weight, value, addressee, shipper,
The law provides sanctions (fines imprisonment and forfeiture of the goods) for the import or the export without a license, for giving false information and for providing no information or documents at all.As the diamond trade is governed by the license system (Ministerial Decrees of 15 September 1995 and 24 April 1997), it is not necessary to issue a specific Ministerial Decree in case of import or export embargoes. Announcements in diamond circles (e.g. requirement of the certificate of origin) quote the conditions for the import or the export from and to the countries under embargo.
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