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Minister publishes Hallmarking (Amendment) Bill 2016 and advises consumers to only purchase precious metals that are properly hallmarked

Consumers encouraged to check Hallmark on precious metals.

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD, today (14th December 2016) published the Hallmarking (Amendment) Bill 2016.

This Bill will update the Hallmarking Act 1981 by adding palladium and mixed precious metals to the list of precious metals that can be hallmarked by the Irish Assay Office, as well as providing for the possibility of off-shore marking by the Irish Assay Office in the future (if it so wishes) and increasing the penalties for offences under the Act.

Commenting on the publication, the Minister stated “Hallmarking of precious metals is the oldest consumer protection legislation in Ireland and dates back almost 400 years. It guarantees the consumers that the object they intend buying is, in fact, the precious metal it claims to be.”

Continuing, the Minister stated that “Expenditure on precious metals by consumers, especially in the run up to Christmas, is often one of the more significant outlays that they undertake during their lives. It is important that they are not misled into buying objects that are not what they claim to be. Consumers should demand to see the hallmark on any precious metal object they wish to buy and report any businesses that do not provide the information required under law.”

ENDS

For further information please contact Press Office, D/Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation ph. 6312200 or press.office@djei.ie

 

Note for the editors:

Hallmarking (Amendment) Bill 2016

Currently, all precious items of gold, silver and platinum must be hallmarked before they are offered for sale in Ireland. These hallmarks must either be hallmarks of the Irish Assay Office, an equivalent hallmark of an EU Member State or a hallmark of the Convention on the Control and Marking of Articles of Precious Metals (known as the Hallmarking Convention). The Bill will add palladium and mixed precious metals to this list of precious metals that can be hallmarked by the Irish Assay Office.

A trader who supplies an article of precious metal to the public must exhibit a notice in the form set out in SI No 143 of 2012 (see notice attached). Failure to display this is an offence under that SI. This is enforced by the Competition & Consumer Protection Commission.

The Bill is also providing for the possibility of off-shore marking by the Irish Assay Office in the future (if it so wishes) with Ministerial approval in case future trends in hallmarking demand it.

The Bill also provides for an increase in the penalties for offences under the Act.

As the Bill is a technical one, consultation with the EU Commission and all other Member States must take place which will take 3 months to complete.

Hallmarking Notice

Hallmarking Notice (SI No 143 of 2012)

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