1. The Convention on the Control and Marking of Articles of Precious Metals (the Precious Metals Convention) is an agreement between Contracting States. It is not an agreement between Assay Offices.


  1. A State, which intends to become a party to the Convention, is presumed to have taken all necessary arrangements to effectively apply the requirements of the Convention as from its accession.


  1. Formal requests for accession must be made by the intending Contracting States to the Depositary. This is usually done via the Secretariat.  However, an Assay Office, which is interested in obtaining the accession procedure details, can also obtain them directly from the Secretariat.


[4.       Any State or interested party of this State, fulfilling the requirements of Article 12 of the Convention, is entitled to attend as “guest” a number of meetings of the Standing Committee.  It may attend the first 4 meetings without any obligation.  It can attend 4 more meetings, provided that the Ministry attends and shows an interest in the Convention. It can attend 8 more meetings, provided that (i) it demonstrates that it is actively working on the application; (ii) it pays half of the annual membership fee. All in all, a non-Member State can attend no more than 16 meetings.][1] 


  1. To acquire the status of Applicant State / Observer, the concerned State has to express its interest to accede to the Convention, to fill in the questionnaire mentioned in paragraph 6 below and to pay the annual observer fee.



Accession procedure


  1. The Secretariat shall provide the interested country with the standard application form and questionnaire (see Section 2.2) which is also available on the Convention’s web site and all appropriate information (i.e. copy of the Convention and Accession Procedure). It shall inform the Standing Committee at the next meeting of the country’s interest.


  1. The interested State shall return the fill-in questionnaire and all supporting documents to the Secretariat together with a letter of intent (see model letter at Section 2.3). Any State having fulfilled this condition shall have the status of an “Applicant State” and can attend meetings of the Standing Committee as an Observer (no voting right). 


  1. Applicant States should normally be represented by a representative of the Assay Office and a Government representative. Applicant States have to contribute one half of the fee paid by a full member. 


  1. The completed application form and questionnaire as well as any supporting document shall be made available to the Standing Committee at its next meeting.


  1. Provided that the Applicant State has not participated in previous meetings of the Standing Committee, it shall be invited to send representatives (technical experts and officials) to meet with the Standing Committee for an informal exchange of views and information on national hallmarking systems and methods as compared to the requirements of the Convention.


  1. The Applicant State may request assistance in preparation for its accession. Applicant States are encouraged to take part in Round Robin (RR, see paragraph 15 below).


  1. The Standing Committee shall appoint an Inspection Team which will visit the Applicant State’s facilities to (i) clarify its capability of conforming with the Convention’s requirements and (ii) to confirm the validity of the accession arrangements. Such a visit may focus inter alia on:



  1. The visit shall normally not take longer than two days. The programme for the visit shall be prepared by the Applicant State in co-operation with the Secretariat and the Inspection Team.


  1. The full cost or a participation of such visits by at most three members of a Standing Committee delegation can be requested from the Applicant State, as the case may be.


  1. In the event that (i) the Applicant State has not participated in previous RR or that (ii) the Inspection Team finds the results of previous RR participation inconclusive, the latter may take samples during the visit which shall be analysed by the Applicant State in line with the relevant SOP (see Section 2.5).


  1. Accreditation of an Assay Office to EN or ISO standards will be accepted as an ability to prove conformance. The certificate(s) shall be provided during the visit.


  1. The Inspection Team shall submit a report on the visit to the Standing Committee.


  1. The Standing Committee shall examine whether the arrangements of the Applicant State comply with the conditions of the Convention and its Annexes and make a recommendation in that respect for consideration by the Contracting States.


  1. The recommendation shall be sent by the Depositary to the Contracting States asking them at the same time whether they agree that the Applicant State be invited to accede to the Convention.


  1. Upon receipt of the agreement given by all Contracting States, the Depositary shall forward the invitation to the Applicant State.


[1]              The application of this rule was suspended until further notice by the SC in Riga (Latvia) on 5 September 2018.