Entry into force of amended Annexes

Geneva (19 May 2011): The Annexes to the Precious Metal Convention have been amended and will enter into force once Austria has ratified them.  The main changes are the following: to adapt to technological changes, the desires of consumers and the needs of markets, the marking of multimetal articles will be possible under the Convention.  These articles, which are made partly of precious metals and partly of base metals (e.g. gold and stainless steel watches), can be found on all markets.  To facilitate their trade, they can be marked with the Convention "Common Control Mark" (CCM) as soon as Austria has ratified the Annexes.  The marking rules under the Convention have also been slightly amended and foresee the possibility of exceptions to the rule stipulating that CCM articles must bear 4 marks: the fineness mark, the responsibility mark, the Assay Office mark and the CCM.  In certain limited circumstances Assay Offices may drop the fineness mark.  The circumstances have been defined by the Standing Committee in the "Compilation of decisions on technical matters", which has also been amended and which will enter into force at the same time as the amended Annexes.  The conditions are the following: (i) where there is insufficient space on an article to apply all four marks; and (ii) where there is a risk of damage to an article by applying all four marks.  The fineness mark can only be dropped if the fineness indication, contained in the CCM, is legible (i.e. readable with a 10x magnifying glass).  The amended Annexes and the amended Compilation of Technical Decisions are available on the web page "Documents & Statistics" (http://www.hallmarkingconvention.org/documents.php)