In November of this year all phases of the exploitation of precious metals and precious stones—from exploration and extraction to processing (refining), sales and export—will be newly regulated by Law No. 710 On Precious Metals and Precious Stones (the “Law”). It also aims to improve the system of testing and sealing jewelry, as well as procedures for quality control.
The Law establishes that the Assay Chamber under the Ministry of Finance is responsible for state assay supervision over:
- Activities of refineries
- Production, processing, use, realization, storage and accounting of precious metals and precious stones
- Availability of assay stamps on saleable jewelry and other items made of precious metals and stones
- Compliance with the requirements for the turnover of precious metals and stones by legal entities and individual entrepreneurs
- Manufacture and realization of jewelry and other items made from precious metals and stones.
The Law sets out the following rights of refineries:
- To determine the percentage of chemically pure precious metals in raw material, scrap and waste
- To buy and sell precious metals
- To sale weighted ingots of their own production.
The Law provides for a priority right of the Republic, as represented by the Central Bank, to purchase extracted precious metals and stones at international prices, excluding transportation costs and costs of realization.
Legal entities owning standard and measured ingots are granted the right to export them along with the Central Bank and other banks. The Cabinet of Ministers will establish a procedure for the export and sale of precious metals and precious stones, products (items) deriving from them, scrap, waste and raw materials that contain precious metals and precious stones.