The Convention on the Marking of Articles of Precious Metal is an international treaty between states which is designed to ensure safeguards for the cross border trade in precious metal. Signed in Vienna in November1972, it entered into force in1975 and is designed to provide a recognised alternative to the traditional UK Hallmarks.
The United Kingdom has been a signatory to the International Convention since 1972.
Articles may be marked with a Convention Hallmark which may have been applied by any one of the countries included in the International Convention on Hallmarking.
This means that UK Assay Offices can strike the Convention Hallmark as an alternative to the UK hallmark, which will then be recognised by all member countries in the International Convention. Conversely, Convention Hallmarks from other member countries are legally recognised in the UK.
Articles bearing the Convention Hallmark do not have to be re-hallmarked in the UK.
The number of articles of precious metals which have been marked with the Convention's Common Control Mark (CCM), has increased steadily since the establishment of the Convention, underlining the strong demand for hallmarked goods.
Latest figures show that Convention marking has increased by 7,000% between 1977 and 2007! Figures for 2006 show that more than 18 million items were marked with a CCM.
To be marked with the CCM, a precious metal article must bear a fineness mark,a responsibility (ie. manufacturer or sponsor) mark and an Assay Office mark. The CCM thus represents an additional protection and quality mark.
Responsibility marks have to be registered in the country which applies the CCM. Thereby, they do not need to be registered in the importing country.
Members will only accept CCM marked articles of a fineness which is legal in the importing country. Each country remains free to determine the standards of precious metal articles that can be manufactured or put on sale within its borders.
The marking of articles of precious metals with the CCM is carried out on a voluntary basis; compulsory hallmarking is not required from the Contracting States to the Convention. This means in practice that an exporter has the choice between
(i) asking his domestic assay office for the CCM marking or
(ii) sending its goods without CCM to the exporting State.
In the first case, CCM-marked goods will be accepted without further control in the importing country while in the second case, the articles will have to meet the requirements of the importing State (e.g. registration of the responsibility mark).
As the requirements under the Hallmarking Convention are often more rigorous than domestic regulations, the CCM has earned an international reputation of integrity and quality.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT CONVENTION MARKING, CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD OUR 'RETAILERS GUIDE TO EUROPEAN HALLMARKS'
TO VISIT THE CONVENTION WEBSITE, CLICK HERE : www.hallmarkingconvention.org
CONVENTION ON THE CONTROL AND MARKING OF ARTICLES OF PRECIOUS METALS LIST OF MEMBERS OF THE STANDING COMMITTEE - AS OF March 2009
|CZECH REPUBLIC||THE NETHERLANDS|
|DENMARK||NORWAY||Invited to accede|
|IRELAND||SLOVAK REPUBLIC||Countries seeking to join|