Sale of gold jewellery and gold artefacts hallmarked without a six-digit alphanumeric HUID – unique identification number – shall not be permitted from April 1, the government said.
The Bureau of India Standards (BIS) has prohibited the sale of hallmarked gold jewelry or gold artefacts without 6 digit alphanumeric Hallmark Unique Identification Number (HUID) after 31st March 2023.
Hallmark Unique Identification (HUID) number is a six-digit alphanumeric code consisting of numbers and letters.
“Sale of hallmarked gold jewelry or gold artefacts without 6 digit alphanumeric Hallmark Unique Identification Number (HUID) to be prohibited after 31st March 2023,” Nidhi Khare, Additional Secretary, Consumer Affairs on gold hallmarking, said.
MOVE TO AVOID CONFUSION
This move aims to protect consumers and enhance their confidence in the purchase of hallmarked gold jewelry with traceability and assurance of quality, says the consumer affairs ministry.
Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday chaired a meeting to review the activities of the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). Gold hallmarking is a purity certification of the precious metal. It was voluntary in nature till June 16, 2021.
Till date, the old hallmarked jewellery with four marks without HUID was also permitted to be sold by the jewellers along with the 6 digit HUID mark. More than a year and 9 months were given to jewellers to clear their stock of their 4 digit hallmarked articles.
However, the simultaneous sale of two types of hallmarked jewellery by jewellers was creating confusion in the mind of the common consumer.
Several rounds of consultations were held with all stakeholders, including jewellers, on the issue of BIS through meetings held in Eastern, Southern as well as Western regions. The department of Consumer Affairs also held a meeting on 18 January 2023 with all stakeholders on the issue.
It is further clarified that sale of hallmarked gold jewelry or gold artefacts without 6 digit alphanumeric HUID shall not be permitted after 31st March 2023 in order to safeguard and protect the consumers and enhance their confidence in the purchase of hallmarked gold jewelry with traceability and assurance of quality.
HOW CAN CUSTOMERS CHECK HALLMARKED JEWELLERY?
A consumer can check and authenticate hallmarked gold jewellery items with a HUID number using ‘verify HUID’ on the BIS CARE app which is available on both Android as well as iOS. It provides information about the jeweller who got the article hallmarked, their registration number, purity of the article, type of article as well as details of hallmarking centre which test and hallmarked the article.
Using this information, a common consumer can verify the article being purchased by matching it with article type as well as its purity.
Hallmarked jewellery lying with consumers as per old schemes shall remain valid. As per section 49 of BIS Rules, 2018, if hallmarked Jewellery bought by the consumer is found to be of lesser purity than that marked on jewellery, then the buyer/customer shall be entitled to compensation, which shall be two times the amount of difference calculated on the basis of shortage of purity for the weight of such article sold and the testing charges.
Before implementation of the 6 digit Hallmark Unique Identification (HUID) number, the hallmarking of gold jewellery consisted of 4 logos viz, BIS logo, purity of the article as well as the logo of the jeweller and Assaying and Hallmarking Centre.
6 digit HUID was introduced from 01 July 2021 and all articles hallmarked after 1 July 2021 have to be hallmarked with HUID only.
After the introduction of HUID, the hallmark consisted of 3 marks viz, BIS logo, purity of the article and six-digit alphanumeric HUID. Each hallmarked article has unique HUID number which is traceable.