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Monday, May 20, 2024

Registration Regime for Dealers in Precious Metals and Stones

Registration Regime for Dealers in Precious Metals and Stones

The diamond industry praises Hong Kong Customs for responding positively to their views on the registration regime for dealers in precious metals and stones
Hong Kong plays a major role on the international stage and has been hailed as one of the world’s most free, open and competitive economies. To uphold this reputation, Hong Kong must continue to unleash its potential and make every effort to prevent the outlaws from taking advantage of the convenience brought by Hong Kong’s trade facilitation. To further bolster Hong Kong’s position as an international financial centre, the Government had earlier submitted to the Legislative Council the proposed amendments to the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing Ordinance (Cap. 615), for instituting a new registration regime for dealers in precious metals and stones. With the passage of the bill, the new registration regime will come into effect on 1st April 2023.

Mr. Lawrence Ma, Founding President and Chairman of the Diamond Federation of Hong Kong, China (DFHK), says the diamond industry is committed to anti-money laundering, and believes the registration regime would help enhance the industry’s competitiveness. Therefore, its members not only understand the need for the legislative amendment, but also show their support to the new regime.

“Prior to the legislation, our industry had been invited to a number of consultations in which the Government had clearly explained the legislative intent which would require traders to adopt reasonable measures to ascertain their customers’ source of fund, thereby preventing illegal activities in the trade of precious metals and stones,” Ma notes. “As an integral member of the industry, we understand the Government’s stance and obligation to fulfill international standards in anti-money laundering by introducing the regime.”

“For the industry to have a deeper understanding of the regime, DFHK will take corresponding actions, such as explaining the registration procedures to members and the requirement of verifying customers’ information while engaging in cash transactions, as well as answering members’ queries on the legislation,” Ma adds. The DFHK plays a crucial role in bridging the communication between its members and Hong Kong Customs. “Our most important task is to ensure that our members well understand the details of the regime so that they would not violate the law inadvertently.”

In particular, Ma praises Hong Kong Customs for their receptiveness during the consultation and promotion sessions of the registration regime. He believes that as long as the traders do their parts properly, the impact on the industry will be insignificant. “The Government had communicated well with the industry in planning the implementation details. The Hong Kong Customs was open to the views expressed by the industry with a view to keeping the impact on legitimate traders to minimal,” says Ma.
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