Kimberley Process FAQ
What is the Kimberley Process (KP)?
The Kimberley Process (KP) is the international forum dedicated to eradicating conflict diamonds from the world trade, with conflict diamonds being defined by the KP’s Core Document conflict diamonds as rough diamonds used by rebel movements to finance wars against legitimate governments.
Established in 2000 and endorsed by both the UN General Assembly and the UN Security Council, it is a tripartite coalition involving governments, industry and civil society, where government Participants hold decision-making rights. Industry and civil society are considered Observers.
The World Diamond Council (WDC) is the diamond industry’s representative in the KP.
The main mechanism developed by the KP to eradicate the trade in conflict diamonds is the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS).
What is the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS)?
The KPCS is a United Nations-sanctioned mechanism for eliminating the flow of conflict diamonds, which came into force by international agreement on January 1, 2003. It covers the trade in rough diamonds between countries.
The KPCS is enforced by government-approved KP Authorities at official points of exit and entry in any KP Participant country or region (in the case of the European Union). To be able to enforce the system, legislation and/or regulations need to have been approved in each Particpant country, and this is a requirement of KP membership.
Within the framework of the KPCS, rough diamonds can only be traded between parties in Kimberley Process (KP) Participant countries. International shipments of rough diamonds must be accompanied by a valid and validated KP certificate, which has been issued by an authorized KP Authority in the country or region from which they are being exported, ensuring that they are conflict-free.
The first KP certificate issued for a rough diamond is in the country that it was mined, it is incumbent on the KP Authority in that country to ascertain that it was not associated with conflict.
What is the difference between KP & KPCS?
The Kimberley Process (KP) is the tripartite international forum established by governments, diamond industry and civil society in 2000, with the endorsement of the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council, to address the challenge of conflict diamonds.
The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KP) is the mechanism that was developed by the KP to eliminate the flow of conflict diamonds into the distribution chain.
How many countries are part of the KP?
There are today 59 Government Participants in the KP, representing 85 countries. The European Union and its 26 member states counting as a single Participant, is represented by the European Commission.
What is the difference between Kimberley Process participants and observers?
Participants in the Kimberley Process (KP) are states or regional economic integration organizations (currently the European Union) that have met the minimum requirements of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) and are, therefore, eligible to trade in rough diamonds with one another. Participants in KP have full decision-making rights.
Observers are industry and civil society groups involved in the KP. These groups monitor the effectiveness of the certification scheme, and provide technical and administrative expertise. The current Observers are the World Diamond Council (WDC), representing industry, the Civil Society Coalition (CSC), Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) and the African Diamond Producers Association (ADPA). Observers do not have voting rights, but they are eligible to serve in all Working Groups and Committees.
What are “conflict diamonds”?
The Core Document of the KP defines conflict diamonds as rough diamonds used by rebel movements to finance wars against legitimate governments.
The World Diamond Council, in collaboration with the KP Civil Society Coalition and a number of KP Participant governments, has been working within the KP to expand the scope of the “conflict diamond” definition in the Core Document, so that it will include other acts of systemic violence and human rights violations that are related directly to the rough diamond business. To date, these efforts have not been successful, although progress toward reaching consensus has been made. The issue remains on the KP’s agenda.
What is a KP Certificate and what it is used for?
A KP certificate is a document issued for a parcel of rough diamonds at a point of export, by an authorized KP Authority in a KP Participant country, to verify that they are conflict free. The certificate substantiates that the diamonds in question were either mined or recovered at a site in the certifying country that meets the KP Minimum Requirements or were part of a parcel of rough diamonds that entered the certifying country or region (in the case of the EU) accompanied by bona fide KP certificate.
When rough diamonds arrive at a point of import, the KP Authority in the importing country examines the parcel and the KP certificate before allowing them entry.
How do I get a KP cert for export of rough diamonds?
Because the KPCS is operated at the national level, according to laws and regulations that are legislated and enforced in each country, the procedures used by different KP Authorities may differ from place to place. It is advised that the exporter contact the KP Focal Point for the country or region from which the rough diamond export is being made.
An up-to-date list of KP Focal Points is available on the WDC website.
Is the KP certificate a proof of origin?
Not necessarily. When a diamond-producing country is concerned, the KP Authority is charged with verifying the rough diamonds were sourced at a site within its jurisdiction that meets the KP Minimum Requirements. In such cases the certificates can be considered proof of origin.
However, when a rough trading country is not also a rough diamond producer, the KP Authority still is required to issue KP certificates for rough diamond exports, verifying that the rough diamonds being exported earlier entered country as part of a parcel with a KP certificate. In such cases the KP certificate is not a proof of origin.
What are my KP obligations as a member of the diamond industry?
Rough diamonds may only be exported or imported from parties in KP Participant countries, and must be accompanied by an original KP Certificate, issued in the country of export. Imports of rough diamonds must be formally declared when entering a country, including any rough diamonds “hand carried” by passengers.
Import shipments of rough diamonds must be sealed in a tamper-proof container. Standard mailing and express consignment packaging, or such packaging that simply contains a resealable plastic bag, are not considered to be a tamper resistant.
Importers must notify the relevant foreign exporting authority of the receipt of the rough diamond shipment.
Importers of rough diamonds must retain a copy of the KP Certificate accompanying the shipment for a period of at least three years from the date of importation. This requirement may be longer in certain countries. Because the legal requirement may differ from country to country, members of trade are encouraged to consult with their own KP Focal Points. An up-to-date list of KP Focal Points is available on the World Diamond Council website.
KP certificates are issued only for rough diamonds and checked at points of export and import. But members of the industry are also obliged to comply with the WDC System of Warranties (SoW), according to which all professional buyers and sellers of rough diamonds, polished diamonds and jewelry set with diamonds include a warranty statement on B2B invoices and memos each time a diamond changes hands, assuring the next buyer that it originated from conflict-free sources in compliance with the KPCS. The SoW is applied each time ownership of diamonds change hands, when they are exported or imported, and when they are sold without leaving country.
The most recently revised version of the SoW Declaration also confirms that the diamonds were handled in accordance with essential responsible business practices, including those relating to human and labor rights, anti-money laundering and anti-corruption.
For how long I am required to keep copies of KP certificates?
According to the KP Core Document, KP certificates should be kept readily accessible for period of no less than three years. Some countries require that they be held for a longer period of time.
For how long I am required to keep copies of sales record, such as invoices?
The requirements to maintain copies of invoices are subject to the laws of each country, but, according to the KP Core Document, all rough diamond buyers, sellers and exporters are encouraged to be required by law to keep for a period of five years daily buying, selling or exporting records, listing the names of buying or selling clients, their license number and the amount and value of diamonds sold, exported or purchased.
What is the difference between a fake and a fraudulent or false certificate?
A fake KP certificate is a forged document accompanying a real rough diamond export, which deliberately misstates that the diamonds in question are KP compliant. The purpose of this document is to whitewash non-KP compliant rough diamonds.
A fraudulent or false KP certificate is document that has been created with the purpose of defrauding a buyer by appearing to have been issued for a shipment of rough diamonds. It is often is transferred digitally and no actual physical copy exists. Very often, no actual diamonds exist.
What is a KP Office?
KP Offices are the facilities managed by the KP Authorities in any KP Participant countries or region (in the case of the EU), which in the case of an exporting country is authorized by the relevant government to issue KP certificates, and in the case of importing countries to verify KP certificates.
How do I get in touch with the KP Focal Point/local KP Authority in my jurisdiction?
An up-to-date list of KP Focal Points is available on the World Diamond Council website.
Has the KP and KPCS been successful?
Before the launch of the KPCS and WDC, the incidence of conflict diamonds in the distribution chain was estimated to be in excess of 4 percent. Within just five years of its rollout, the number of conflict diamonds in the legitimate trade had fallen to less two tenths of one percent.
Today, the only UN-recognized source of conflict diamonds is the Central African Republic (CAR), which is a minor producer that has been involved in a civil war since the end of 2012. In 2013, the KP embargoed all exports of rough diamonds from the nation, after rebels seized control of producing areas. In July 2015, KP agreed that the CAR could resume exports, as long they originated from which are under government control and are compliant with KP rules. A special KP committee monitors all approved rough diamond exports from the CAR.
Source: World Diamond Council