Hong Kong Customs today (November 24) initiated a campaign with players of the jewellery industry and the Consumer Council to promote industry-wide trading integrity and sale of genuine goods.
The initiative entitled "Jewellery Integrity Campaign" aims to build up a self-regulating mechanism among the industry players through the adoption of clear trade descriptions in jade and diamond retailing activities.
Officiating at an inauguration ceremony cum seminar on intellectual property rights (IPR), the Commissioner of Customs and Excise, Mr Timothy Tong, said, "Self-regulation within the jewellery industry is key to upholding intellectual property rights of jewellery products, and sustaining Hong Kong as a prime destination for shopping genuine jewellery." Commissioner Tong said since jewellery products were among the most popular items to locals and tourists, it was of paramount importance for all players in the same trade to commit their efforts whole-heartedly to safeguard their own interests.
"By standing together and cooperating closely with Hong Kong Customs and the Consumer Council, these honest industry players could guard against the unscrupulous minority few in a more effective fashion," he said.
The "Jewellery Integrity Campaign" comprises four core elements, namely common industry standards, intelligence exchange, expertise in seizure identification, and publicity and public education.
Under the Campaign, jewellery traders will be encouraged to ride on the widely recognised industry standards and use common grading standards in product descriptions.
Jade traders will mark on the sales invoices and transaction records true and concise descriptions of the product grading in respect of the jade sold:
As a common industry practice, diamond traders will mark a true description of the product quality for diamond sold according to the marking standard of carat (weight), colour, clarity (purity), and cut.
Commissioner Tong said, "On the enforcement front, Hong Kong Customs will be supported by the industry's cooperation in providing expertise and laboratory tests to facilitate its investigation and prosecution against counterfeit jade and diamond products." Contact points will be established between Customs and the participating industry at the working level to work out the implementation details, including assisting Customs in identifying fakes; giving laboratory testing certificates; assisting prosecution by testifying in courts; and providing information about fake products discovered in the course of product testing.
To widely publicise the Campaign and widen industry support, the jewellery industry will regularly hold meetings, training sessions and seminars for industry players. Besides, the Consumer Council will make use of its publication "Choice" and other publicity channels to boost publicity for the Campaign.
Also officiating at the inauguration ceremony were the President of Diamond Federation of Hong Kong, China Ltd., Mr Lawrence Ma; the Chairman of the Gemmological Association of Hong Kong Ltd., Mr Louis Lo; President of Hong Kong Gemstone Manufacturers' Association Ltd., Mr Johnson Sin; and Chairman of Hong Kong Jewellers' & Goldsmiths' Association, Mr Leung Sik-wah.
Other officiating guests included President of Hong Kong Jewellery & Jade Manufacturers Association, Mr Charles Chan; Honorary Secretary of Hong Kong Jewelry Manufacturers' Association, Mr Tommy Tse; Chairman of Hong Kong and Kowloon Jade Merchants and Workers Union Association, Mr Lee Tam Yee-lin; and President of Jadeware Traders Industry & Commerce Association Ltd., Mr Chan Kwok-man.
The Head of Complaints and Advice Division of Consumer Council, Mr Chan Wing-kai; and Assistant Commissioner of Customs and Excise (Intelligence and Investigation), Mr William Chow Oi-tung, also officiated at the ceremony.
Ends/Thursday, November 24, 2005