Registration Regime for Dealers in Precious Metals and Stones - Industry Representative Feature (5)
In alignment with world trends, the registration regime for dealers in precious metals and stones provides the industry with enhanced protection
As an international financial center, Hong Kong enjoys a generous degree of freedom in commerce. To prevent outlaws from abusing the convenience of free trade and engaging in illegal activities such as money laundering, the Government had earlier submitted to amend the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing Ordinance (Cap. 615), and instituted a new registration regime for dealers in precious metals and stones. The new legislation has come into effect since 1st April 2023.
Mr Benedict Sin Nga-yan, Honorary Chairman and Director of Council of Management of the Hong Kong Jewellery & Jade Manufacturers Association (HKJJMA), expresses his support for and understanding of the establishment of the registration regime. He points out that the action is in alignment with international standards of anti-money laundering. Furthermore, in earlier consultations on the proposed legislation, the Government was willing to listen to the industry’s comments which were then reflected in the amendment ordinance.
“As a member of Financial Action Task Force (FATF), Hong Kong is under obligation to take action against money laundering and terrorist financing activities. The registration regime is in line with the related development worldwide, as many countries have already implemented such systems,” says Sin.
Before amending the legislation, the Government had consulted the industry, and made adjustments to the new regime in response to their views. “The Customs has maintained close contacts with the sector by seeking opinions of many enterprises and trade associations,” Sin continues. “Concerning the details of the legislation, the Government has responded and followed up on the views and requests of the industry, with a view to simplifying the registration requirements and flow. For example, the Government has clarified issues relating to the definitions of precious product and two categories of registration. Enterprises now have a clearer understanding of the law and implementation details.”
Sin reaffirms the benefits of the registration regime, “In compliance with the requirements of the registration regime, enterprises will have legal basis to follow in the course of operation so that they would not break the law inadvertently.”
In conclusion, Sin points out that to help launch the registration regime, the Association will be organising a series of activities and applying different measures to acquaint members with the rationale behind the new legislation. Members can also learn how to cope with different circumstances during the implementation. “As far as I am aware, there is a transitional period that gives enterprises enough time to acclimatize to the registration regime. The Association will also be hosting talks and training classes to enable frontline staff members to understand and be familiar with the entire registration procedures.