Antwerp City Council will impose stricter requirements on jewellers from January 1st, so as to prevent malicious practices and guarantee fair competition. Amongst other requirements, they will have to provide a certificate to their customers in respect of each item of jewellery purchased, and will be required to install surveillance cameras in particular places.
The commune authorities consider that Antwerp plays, as the diamond capital, a significant role in the jewellery sphere. The authorities feel that both the scope and the international nature of this sector make it vulnerable to the handling of stolen goods, including jewellery.
Antwerp City Council points out, “There are thus dishonest shopkeepers who sell stolen jewellery to oblivious customers.” The Council goes on, “Moreover, it seems that the handling of stolen jewellery is linked to other forms of crime, such as selling drugs or money laundering.”
A new police regulation means that, from now on, jewellers must comply with moral standards in carrying out their profession. Whilst the certificates will provide greater protection, as much for the customer as the police, in relation to the item purchased, surveillance cameras will prove an additional tool for the police.
The city authorities state that jewellers meeting the quality certificate “Antwerp’s Most Brilliant” are already meeting stricter standards, and will therefore be exempt from these new rules. The measure will enter into force on January 1st, 2018. A tolerance period for the surveillance system will be in force until March 1st.