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Antwerp Diamond Office Releases Parcel Blockage

March 31, 2024  |  Leah Meirovich

The waiting times for processing diamond imports in Belgium has dropped substantially, with most shipments taking less than 24 hours, clearing much of the previous sanctions-related backlog.

The improved efficiency is the result of an increase in staff at the Diamond Office, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) said Sunday. Additionally, recent information sessions have helped lower the number of incomplete files importers are submitting to 15% from the previous 90%, the AWDC explained.

When the Group of Seven (G7) nations implemented the new sanctions guidelines at the start of the month, many in the industry reported massive delays on importing goods into the European Union via Belgium, even with proper documentation. Stones below the 1-carat threshold were also facing holdups.

The exchange is currently in the final stages of discussions regarding rules for grandfathered goods — rough and polished that originated in Russia but was purchased prior to March 1, it noted. The AWDC is also working on G7 certificates for rough that will link to their eventual polished, a move that it will require on September 1, following the initial “sunrise period.”

“We encourage all participants to procure and meticulously manage these G7 rough certificates, and to make their usage habitual with both rough and polished diamonds — an essential step for securing ongoing access to G7 markets,” the AWDC added.

Main image: Rough diamonds. (Shutterstock)

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Antwerp Diamond Office Releases Parcel Blockage

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