India's Ministry of Commerce has decided to separate the Harmonized System Codes (HS Codes) for lab-grown and natural diamonds, respectively, in response to recent incidents of undisclosed lab-grown diamonds being mixed with parcels of natural diamonds.
The issue will reportedly be finalized during a meeting on Monday between representatives of India's Gems & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJECP) and the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), which is responsible for assigning the HS Codes to different objects. Currently, the trade for natural and lab-grown diamonds is done through the same HS Code.
"Due to the same HS Codes being used for natural and lab-grown diamonds, there have been cases of lab-grown diamonds being exported overseas in the name of naturals. This is raising a big question on India's trust value. If the HS Codes are different then such incidences can be barred easily," said GJEPC Vice Chairman Pankaj Parekh, as quoted by the news source.