SC Meeting in Tel Aviv

The 85th meeting of the Standing Committee (SC) took place in Tel Aviv (Israel) on 11 September 2019 under the chairmanship of Ms. Dalia Yarom (Israel). It was attended by 62 officials representing 18 out of 20 Contracting States (Austria and Sweden did not attend), 3 Applicant States (Italy, Serbia and Ukraine) as well as guests from Bosnia-Herzegovina, China, North-Macedonia, Romania, Russia, and Spain.

The new Type 2 CCM is applied

The SC noted that the Depositary had confirmed the entry into force of the Convention's revised Technical Annexes.  Some Assay Offices such as the Swiss Assay Office have started applying the new Type 2 Common Control Mark (CCM). However, the implementation process of the revised Annexes has not been completed by 5 out of 20 Contracting States.  These are: Austria, Cyprus, Latvia, Poland, and Portugal.  Poland and Portugal were unable to confirm whether they accepted precious metal articles bearing the new Type 2 CCM.  The Chairperson invited these States to clarify the situation as soon as possible, as this could damage the reputation of the Convention as a reliable instrument to facilitate the trade of precious metal articles.

The SC also noted that all new CCMs, introduced under the revised Annexes, had been notified to the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).  This included Type 2 CCM and Type 1 CCM for Pt 990, 600 & 500; Au 990, 800 & 417; Pd 990; Ag 990, 958 & 835.  All these marks will be published on WIPO's Article 6ter Express Database on 30 September 2019. 

After a 15.1% increase in 2018, the number of CCM articles continued to increase by 9.2% in the first half of 2019 and totalled 2,785,333 articles.  Switzerland recorded the highest number of CCM articles followed by the UK.

Review of membership applications

The SC reviewed the accession process of Italy, Serbia, Sri Lanka and Ukraine. Italy reported some delays in the ratification of the Convention but hoped to complete the process within the next few months. Serbia announced that a draft law on the ratification of the Convention would be submitted to the Government and then to the Parliament.  Sri Lanka did not attend the meeting.  After several years of non-attendance, Ukraine participated in the SC and informed Members that the new Government intended to resume the ratification process.  Considering that Ukraine was invited to join the Convention in 2005, the SC nominated a Delegation consisting of Mr Peters Brangulis (Assay Office of Latvia) and Ms Katarzyna Nadara (Polish Regional AO of Warsaw) to visit Ukraine. 

Standing Technical Group

The Chairman of the Standing Technical Group (STG), Mr Thomas Brodmann (Swiss Assay Office), reported on its 25th meeting held in Brügg (Switzerland) on 1-2 July 2019, during which it discussed issues in relation with the new Type 2 CCM, the Round Robin on testing and the Round Robin on Marking.  The STG has started drafting guidelines on the CCM, which will comprise general guidance on the quality of reproduction of the CCM (type 1 and type 2) and guidance on the security and CCM punch makers.

The Deputy Chairman of the STG, Mr Peters Brangulis (Assay Office of Latvia), gave a presentation on the outcome of the 2018 Round Robin on laser marking using Type 1 CCM (Ag°925), which was co-organised by the Sheffield and Latvian Assay Offices. 

On behalf of the STG, Ms Katarzyna Nadara (Polish Regional AO of Warsaw) presented the results of the Round Robin on testing in 2019, which comprised 3 samples (gold, silver and palladium), which were tested by XRF and by chemical analysis.  The SC confirmed that participation in Round Robin by XRF is compulsory for all Assay Offices.  The next Round Robin will be postponed to the second half of 2020, thus allowing sufficient time to launch the new Round Robin Portal.

The SC mandated the STG to discuss guidelines on offsite marking and address, amongst other issues, the issue on offsite marking by company staff under the supervision of Assay Office staff.

Reports from Working Groups on Model Law and Vision & Strategy

The Chairperson of the Working Group on Model Law (WGML), Ms. Nataša Mejak-Vukovic (Slovenia), reported on the work undertaken by the WGML since it was established at the last SC meeting in Ljubljana.  WG Members prepared a mandate, which was adopted by the SC.  They also agreed to establish guidelines on how to establish a model law on precious metal control and to collect all available laws.  The Working Group comprises Members from Croatia, Italy, Netherlands, Slovenia, and the United Kingdom.

The Working Group on Vision and Strategy met the day before the SC and discussed its mandate, which will be submitted to the SC by written procedure.  It started to review the comments received from Ministries during the consultation period.  The Working Group comprises Members from Cyprus, Ireland, Israel, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

Integration of the IAAO

The International Association of Assay Offices (IAAO) met in Ramat Motza (Israel) on 12 September 2019 and collectively agreed to terminate the Association by 31 December 2019.  The IAAO discussed final arrangements regarding its assets, website and archives.  The day before, the SC reviewed preparations for the integration of IAAO Members and agreed to adopt a related revision of the SC's Compilation of Acts by the end of the year.  The integration of IAAO Members will take place in the first half of 2020. 

Elections

As this was the last meeting chaired by Ms Dalia Yarom (Israel), the SC bid farewell to Ms Yarom.  Mr Scott Walter (Edinburgh Assay Office) was elected as Chairman for a two-year term, starting on 1 November 2019 and ending on 31 December 2021. 

The current First Deputy Chairman, Mr Ashley Carson (Sheffield Assay Office), decided to not seek re-election.  In line with the Rules of Procedure, he was replaced by the current Second Deputy Chairperson, Ms. Maria Magdalena Ulaczyk (Polish Regional Assay Offices), who was elected as First Deputy Chairperson for a two-year term, starting on 1 January 2020 and ending on 31 December 2021.

The SC elected the current STG Chairman, Mr Thomas Brodmann (Swiss Assay Office), as the new Second Deputy Chairman for a two-year term, starting on 1 January 2020 and ending on 31 December 2021.

In brief...

  • The SC reviewed a revised draft list of CCM punch makers in Contracting States.
  • The Secretariat provided a financial report on income and expenditures in 2018.
  • A presentation was given on the new web site of the Convention, which will be launched in the next few months.


Next meeting in Gdansk

The next SC meeting will take place in Gdansk (Poland) on 18 March 2020.

During the COVID-19 crisis, the Convention Secretariat remains open. If you need to reach us, please contact us by e-mail only at the following e-mail address: info@hallmarkingconvention.org

Thanks for your attention.

OK