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Article: Clean Diamond Trade Act

Clean Diamond Trade Act

Clean Diamond Trade Act and its Implementation

  • Clean Diamond Trade Act (CDTA) implemented the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) to regulate the commercial sale of diamonds.
  • Signed into law by President George W. Bush on April 25, 2003.
  • Requires all imported or exported diamonds to have a Kimberley Process Certificate.
  • Aims to prohibit the importation of diamonds from conflict-ridden countries.
  • Enforced by U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Bureau of the Census.
  • H.R. 1415 (sections of the act) addresses human rights issues associated with the rough diamond trade.
  • Section 10 promotes the importance of publishing statistics on diamond imports and exports.
  • The KPCS requires diamonds to be transported in tamper-proof containers with a government-validated certificate.
  • Reduced the ease of conflict diamonds entering the legitimate diamond market.
  • Membership is voluntary, leading to issues of non-compliance.
  • Challenges include non-compliance and the need for ongoing refinement of the Kimberley Process.

Background and History of Conflict Diamonds

  • Conflict diamonds have resulted in an estimated 3.7 million deaths in Africa.
  • Illegal gem sales funded rebel forces and prolonged civil unrest.
  • United Nations implemented sanctions and investigated the link between diamonds and conflict in Africa.
  • International certification program, known as the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, was adopted in 2000.
  • UNITA produced about $600 million in diamonds annually in the late 1990s.

Legislative History and Reception

  • The Clean Diamond Trade Act (CDTA) was introduced in the US House of Representatives by Rep. Amo Houghton on September 2, 2001.
  • The bill had 112 cosponsors: 84 Democrats, 27 Republicans, 1 Independent.
  • It passed in the House with a vote of 408–6 on Nov. 28th, 2001.
  • A version of the bill was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Dick Durbin in 2002, but it did not progress.
  • Rep. Amo Houghton reintroduced the CDTA in 2003, and it passed with a vote of 419–2 in both the House and the Senate.
  • The United States is the world's largest diamond market, which led to the introduction of the CDTA.
  • Representative Tony P. Hall introduced the Clean Diamonds Act to lessen U.S. involvement in the illicit diamond trade.
  • The bill prohibits individuals or corporations from importing rough diamonds into the United States unless the legitimacy of the diamonds is verified.
  • The import of diamonds into the United States must meet specified requirements consistent with United Nations Resolution 55/56.

Criticisms and Challenges

  • Some critics argue that the KPCS was established to allow consumers to buy diamonds without guilt rather than effectively regulating the diamond market.
  • The KPCS is believed to not effectively address the illegal diamond trade.
  • Global Witness left the KPCS in 2011 due to dissatisfaction with its ability to deal with conflict diamonds.
  • The United States should implement more intensive reporting and inspection of rough diamonds to ensure the success of the trade act.
  • The United States does not inspect rough diamonds coming in or out of the country, which allows traders to engage in illicit trade.
  • The United States lacks an agency in charge of diamond import confirmations, enabling traders to bypass reporting requirements.
  • The effectiveness of the CDTA in eliminating the trade of conflict diamonds is often questioned.

Data Reporting and Relevant Litigation

  • Census is responsible for collecting, managing, and analyzing data on diamond imports and exports under the Clean Diamond Trade Act.
  • Concerns were raised about the accuracy and legitimacy of Census reports, with anomalies and discrepancies in the data.
  • Steps were taken to address data anomalies, including notifying U.S. Customs and educating importers and exporters on proper diamond classification.
  • The main court case referencing the Clean Diamond Trade Act is United States of America vs Approximately 1,170 Carats Of Rough Diamonds Seized At John F. Kennedy International Airport On January 13, 2004.
  • The case involved the attempted importation of unregistered rough diamonds without a Kimberley Process Certificate, violating the Clean Diamond Trade Act.

Clean Diamond Trade Act Data Sources

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