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GJEPC mulls separate lab-grown membership

India’s Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) is considering a new membership category for lab-grown-diamond traders in a further attempt to keep better tabs on the trade.

The organization requires companies to choose a product category — known as a “panel” — when becoming a member. While firms dealing in lab-grown diamonds previously selected “synthetic stones,” which covers all types of man-made gemstones, they can now sign up for the category specific to their business.

“Since everything in synthetics was clubbed into one category, we couldn’t get an actual estimate of how many lab-grown diamantaires were GJEPC members,” a source at the council said on condition of anonymity.

The GJEPC’s committee of administration made the decision earlier this month, the group said Monday in an announcement on its website. It has urged potential lab-grown members to register, and will then choose whether to go ahead with the change permanently, depending on how many companies sign up.

As of the 2016-17 financial year, the GJEPC had 41 members through the “synthetic stones” panel, compared with 2,345 natural-diamond members, according to the council’s website. Companies’ membership type influences their voting rights, but does not prevent them from trading in other products, the GJEPC source noted.

India’s exports of polished lab-grown diamonds jumped 89% year on year to $120.9 million in the four months from April to July, according to data from the GJEPC. Outbound shipments of natural polished fell 18% to $6.7 billion for the same period.

Last month, India introduced an import classification code for lab-grown diamonds, enabling better oversight of the trade and enhanced differentiation between the natural and synthetics categories.

Courtesy - Rapaport News

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