America to ban Myanmar rubies

Bush signs legislation to this effect
America to ban Myanmar rubies

Expressing a strong disapproval towards the inhuman state of affairs in Myanmar’ mining areas, US President George Bush has signed legislation Tuesday. The legislation was created to punish Myanmar's brutal ruling regime, by enforcing a ban on import of all rubies and jade from Myanmar into US.

Although many retailers in the US have been practicing a self ban on import of these goods into the country, the signing of the legilation, will now give its significance a wider scope. The “Tom Lantos Block Burmese JADE Act of 2008” bans Burmese gem imports. The bill was approved by the Congress on July 22. According to U.S. officials, Myanmar has been evading earlier gem-targeting sanctions by laundering the stones in other countries before exporting them to the US.

Clarifying the outlines of the Bill, the Jewelers Vigilance Committee noted that the bill requires that within 60 days, jadeite or rubies of Burma origin cannot be imported into the US and the ban would be aplicable to all Burmese origin jadeite and rubies, notwithstanding “substantial transformation” in Thailand or elsewhere. It does not ban the entry of Burmese jadeite or rubies imported for personal use, or the export of Burmese rubies or jadeite from U.S. or sales of Burmese jadeite or rubies already in the U.S.

The import of non-Burmese rough and polished jadeite and rubies (or jewelry containing jadeite and rubies) will be allowed, provided certain criteria are met - US President to 'determine and certify' to the appropriate legislative committees and government agencies, that the countries have implemented verifiable controls from mine to first exportation that demonstrate that the jadeite and ruby does not originate in Burma. these non-Burmese imports must be accompanied by officially-validated documentation carrying information as the source country from which the jadeite and rubies were mined or extracted, total carat weight, and value of the jadeite or rubies. All entities mining, exporting or importing non-Burmese jadeite and rubies are required to maintain verifiable records demonstrating compliance with these requirements. There are other conditions also outlined for the Burmese rubies or jadeite existing in the U.S. prior to the ban taking effect exported from the U.S. and re-imported into the U.S. by the same person, as long as there is no physical transformation done on them outside the U.S. The decision yet has to receive the clearence from the Customs.

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