RAPAPORT… A seven-member Kimberley Process (KP) delegation arrived in Israel this week to check that procedures in the country’s diamond trade were in line with those required by the industry.
The KP recently began its second round of review visits to member countries after completing the first round in 2007. Israel’s diamond controller, Shmuel Mordechai, invited the KP to conduct the review, which ran from May 19 through 23. The delegation was headed by Christian Berger from the European Union.
The visit included meetings with Avi Paz, president of the Israel Diamond Exchange; Moti Ganz, president of the Israel Diamond Manufacturers Association, as well as management from the two organizations and the Israel Diamond Institute.
The KP team also visited the diamond controller’s office, which included the import – export room, where they checked the controller’s implementation of the certification scheme and for how diamantaires report their transactions.
“We are proud of our supervision of the trade in Israel and our cooperation with all institutions of the Kimberley Process,” Mordechai said.
Mordechai said the delegation raised concerns about gaps in Israel’s reporting with a number of countries with which it trades. The gaps, he continued, were typically evident in Israel’s trade with third world countries.
“For example, there were no gaps in our figures with Belgium,” Mordechai added.
The delegation also noted gaps in carat weights between Israel and Russia, which they explained resulted from Israel not including industrial diamonds and diamond dust when reporting its rough diamond figures, and therefore resulted in a difference in estimates with Russia’s, Mordechai explained.
The KP is expected to publish its report from the visit in the coming months.
The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme was created in 2003 with the aim of stemming the flow of conflict diamonds around the world. It consist of 48 members representing 74 countries, which are required to implement diamond trade controls and that all rough diamonds are accompanied by a KP certificate guaranteeing that they are conflict-free.