Russia and Belgium signed a memorandum of understanding on the electronic exchange of the Kimberley Process (KP) Certificates. The signing took place on the sidelines of the KP Plenary session, attended by the Federal Customs Service of Russia and the Federal Public Service Economy of Belgium.
The memorandum will accelerate the turnover of diamond products between business partners located in Russia and the EU member states by allowing for a prompt receipt of statistics on the import and export of diamonds and automation of data processing. Global transition to a digital exchange of KP Certificates is one of the Russian chairmanship’s key priorities in 2021.
At the end of 2020, Russian diamond exports to Belgium accounted for more than 51% of the total volume of exported gems. Belgian diamond trade centre in Antwerp accounts for more than 95% of the import and export operations of the EU, represented by a single delegation in the KP.
Alexey V. Moiseev, KP Chair, Deputy Minister of Finance, stated: “Taking into account the comparable IT infrastructure and legislation within the EAEU, the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation plans to scale the project throughout the Union. In 2021, Russia also initiated a dialogue on the launch of similar digitalisation projects with other key trading partners within the KP – India and the UAE. Their practical implementation is being planned to be launched next year.”
This year Russia also conducted pilot exchanges of the KP Certificate information with Belarus as a result of well-established trade relations, harmonised legislation and the simultaneous participation of Belarus in the EAEU and the KP. Due to the lack of a Customs border between the countries, the project is being implemented on the basis of the infrastructure of Gokhran of Russia and the Belarus Ministry of Finance.
“The transition to a digital exchange of KP Certificates, issued on paper as of right now, will simplify and speed up the procedures for their issuance. In addition, digital documents are the key to the legitimacy of each shipment of diamonds. Russia has always advocated the promotion of the principles of openness in the global diamond trade,” commented Alexey V. Moiseev.
Russia presented the first pilot projects on digital data exchange with its key trading partners in the diamond industry at the KP Plenary session.