Russia May Lift Import Duty on Colored Gemstones

Moscow: Russia may consider abolishing of duties on colored gemstones, a Deputy Finance Minister Alexey Moiseev said during the 3rd International Economic Jewelry Forum.

“Russia produces virtually no colored gemstones. In fact, the vast majority of colored stones is imported because of the fact that production in Russia was not preserved,” – said Moiseev.

He noted that the issue of zero import duty on gemstones is as a measure to support jewelers, as ruble weakness led to the rise of gem prices.

Moiseev added that import duties on equipment used in the production and processing of precious metals and stones may also be lifted.

In addition, the Ministry of Finance plans to support diamond manufacturers and cutters. It could be achieved by reducing export duty on rough diamonds to zero.

“Russia cannot abandon its obligations under the WTO. Nevertheless, there is a question of viability of diamond cutting in Russia regarding high international competition in this field”, said Moiseev.

“We cooperate with ALROSA and largest cutters to work out a new strategy for the development of diamond cutting in Russia, and involve international consultants in the process. I hope that we will arrive at some conclusion with the strategy, which would allow us to maintain the viability of the industry due to reduced duties”, said the deputy minister.