Standing Committee Meeting in Geneva

Geneva (22 September 2009): The 65th meeting of the Standing Committee, set up under the Hallmarking Convention, was held in Geneva (Switzerland) on 21 September 2009. The meeting was chaired by Mr. Ronald W.A. Le Bas (Irish Assay Office), assisted by Mr. Bjarne Bang Christensen (Denmark), Deputy Chairman. The meeting was attended by 53 officials representing the Convention’s nineteen Contracting States, two Applicants State (Sri Lanka and Ukraine) as well as guests from CIBJO - the World Jewellery Confederation, Croatia, and Serbia.

It was the first time that the World Jewellery Confederation (www.cibjo.org), represented by its President, Dr. Gaetano Cavalieri, attended a meeting. Dr. Cavalieri made several proposals for closer co-operation between CIBJO and the Convention - including the possibility of organising back-to-back meetings in the future.

The Croatian Metrology Institute informed the Committee that it would shortly request the Croatian Government to submit a membership application. The Sri Lankan Assay Office made a progress report on the various actions undertaken by Sri Lanka to comply with the Convention's requirements.

The Committee reviewed the ratification process of the 2001 Amendment to the Convention, which will - amongst other matters - recognise palladium as a precious metal. It noted that Lithuania, the last Contracting State to ratify the Amendment, had just started the ratification process. The Lithuanian Parliament is expected to complete the ratification by November. An entry into force of the Amendment is thus expected by early 2010.

Members discussed a number of technical matters such as the introduction of multimetal articles, permissible platings (including base metal intermediate layers), guidelines on offsite marking, and whether to accept partial hallmarks. Most of these matters were referred back to the Standing Technical Group (the STG is a Sub-Committee of the Standing Committee). The latter should meet in February 2010.

The Committee also reviewed the results of the last two Round Robins on gold and silver (interlaboratory testing scheme on precious metals). The results of the chemical analyses were considered to be good to very good.

Members agreed to reconvene in Zurich (Switzerland) on 13 April 2010.

The meeting was followed by a meeting of The International Association of Assay Offices (www.theiaao.com).

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