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VietNamNews

Quality standards spark fear among gold traders

Update: May, 29/2014 - 09:26

HA NOI (VNS)  — Concern has spread among jewellery traders just days before Viet Nam is due to apply its first quality management system for domestic gold jewellery.

In September last year, the Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) issued Circular 22, which takes effect next month. This regulates management and measurement policies in the gold trading business.

Under the circular, the standards of quality and measurement of gold jewellery sold on the local market must be written in a product code showing the correct gold content.

And at least 75 per cent of 18-carat gold jewellery must be pure gold, while 24-karat jewellery must be a minimum of 99.9 per cent pure gold.

The media has reported that due to a long-term lack of management controls, most 18-carat jewellery on the domestic market is only 58-68 per cent gold.

According to Nguyen Hoang Linh, a senior official from the Directorate for Standards, Metrology and Quality, many people pay for gold jewellery they believe has a high gold content.

However, when they re-sell the items, they receive far less money than they expect because the gold content is much lower than they expect.

While the circular outlines the proper management of gold quality, traders complain that they have been given too little notice. They say from the time it was issued to the date it goes into effect is too short for them to prepare and manage their inventory stock.

In the nine months, the concerns have spread to more than 12,000 traders. As the date of compliance with the circular draws closer, they say most of their products were made without the necessary code to indicate gold content.

Ly Hai Son, owner of a jewellery trading site in HCM City, told VTV Online that he knew about the circular and the deadline, but he had not yet done anything about it. He said he was worried and hoped for a change of mind.

He added that he could not remake nearly 1,000 items in his possession to meet the requirement of the new regulations because this would cost too much and could ruin his business.

According to the Viet Nam Gold Trading Association (VGTA), companies and businesses previously made their own declarations on product quality, with an error margin of 1-3 per cent, whereas the circular only allows an error margin of 0.1- 0.3 per cent.

VGTA deputy chairman Dinh Nho Bang told Biz Hub that if the circular was not revised, it would cause huge losses to traders and to millions of buyers in the country who hold gold as a method of saving.

Bang has asked the Ministry of Science and Technology not to apply the regulations to products that were made before June 1.

On May 27, the VGTA sent a letter containing 10 petitions related to the circular to both the Ministry and the Directorate for Standards, Metrology and Quality, pleading for the circular to be revised to better serve the trading community.—VNS


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