Navigator for jewelry trade
Rubric: ASAY CHAMBER INFORMATION
For last months the jewelry community has been actively discussing the questions of regulating the activity of enterprises in this industry. Many market participants are concerned that the authorities intend to introduce additional control over jewelry manufacturing. And this is when the state support of the industry is obviously insufficient. What’s really going on and how does it threaten the jewellers? Sergey Nikolayevich Dyachenko, the Deputy Chief of the State Assay Chamber of the Ministry of Finance of Russia , Executive Secretary of Public Expert Council, answers these questions.
There’s no separate initiative to introduce off-schedule state checks on jewelry manufactures. It’s about bringing the power of assay control in accordance with the Federal Law of December 26, 2008 № 294-FZ “On protection of the rights of legal entities and individual entrepreneurs in the state control (supervision) and municipal control”. Within the limits of the given law the possibility of carrying out off-schedule checks is provided, but it can be realised practically only in two cases: 1) after the expiry of the period of realization of previously issued improvement notice with instructions to rectify discovered violations by a legal entity (individual entrepreneur); 2) violation of consumers’ rights. None of the recently discussed bills provides for any new supervising structures for special checks at jewelry enterprises.
At present the RF Ministry of Finance website has published amendments to the Federal Law of December 26, 2008 № 294-FZ “On protection of the rights of legal entities and individual entrepreneurs in the state control (supervision) and municipal control”. Their objective is to bring in balance with the Federal Law the powers of the State Assay Chamber of Russia to implement the assay control which it had till 2009. In case they are adopted FKU “The State Assay Chamber” will be able within the limits of the already existing organizational structure and exclusively within its competence to conduct verification activities in the sphere of precious metals and precious stones. In particular, in its jewelry sector, namely to reveal violation of the requirements of the relevant legislation (the availability of manufacturer's stamps and trade marks on the products as well as special registration, etc.)
Practically all experts qualify unfair competition of illegal manufacturers and firms, legalizing contraband as their own jewelry output, as one of the basic threats of the development of Russia’s jewelry manufacturing. For honest market participants it is difficult to compete with low-quality but inexpensive goods of such ‘manufacturers’. They will not leave the market themselves. So it is necessary to reveal and stop their illegal activity, thus creating conditions for the development of real jewelry manufacturing. It is especially actual in view of forthcoming price reduction of import taxes within the framework of Russia’s entry into World Trade Organization (WTO).
We should promote strengthening the positions of the Russian manufacturer in every possible way. In accordance with the Federal Law of March 26, 1998 № 41-FZ “On precious metals and precious stones” one of the main goals of the assay supervision is protection of jewelry manufacturers’ rights against unfair competition. Reduction of control functions of the assay supervision in accordance with Federal Law №294 will allow solving this problem more efficiently. Of course that won’t be a universal panacea against all problems existing at the jewelry market but will make it possible to reverse the present negative tendency. However it will be impossible to do it without the support of fair jewelers. It is necessary to create competitive environment which would promote the growth of real manufacture and displace swindlers from the market. Joint efforts of all participants of the jewelry market are required for solving this problem.
Jewelry manufacturers often reproach the state for inefficient support of their sector. Let me note: for the state to efficiently aid the development of Russia’s jewelry manufacturing and trade is necessary to understand its goals and objectives, and only jewelers themselves can formulate them. Aid is a specific thing: to help whom, how, in what volumes? Without the answer to this question any assistance runs the risk of turning into a set of baseless decisions. It is essential that jewelers have shown initiative in formation the basic directions in the development of their sector. Now it works exclusively on the basis of market mechanisms and the state cannot dictate entrepreneurs the direction of development.
At the market there exist social associations of jewelers which are to work out such programmes. For instance, the association “Jewelry Guild of Russia”. But so far we hear only slogans and appeals from it. Active concrete work is being carried on mainly for protection of interests of some big participants of the jewelry market – members of the association. It is quite natural. However jewelry manufacturing is thousands of small or medium-sized jewelry enterprises as well. They also need support and perhaps to a greater extent. It is difficult to do it without economically reasonable concept of development. What we really need is not general words but the programme, built on the basis of economical calculations. In such a programme scale and direction of the state support would become clear.