WHAT IS A HALLMARK?
A hallmark is a mark or a stamp that is put on objects of trade mostly, Gold and silver items to depict the purity, genuineness, and origin of the product. It was not compulsory earlier, however, from 16.06.2021 it has been made mandatory on gold and silver made articles.
It is highly probable that the gold and silver items without the hallmark are not authentic and are not pure. A hallmark is the best way to identify if the product is genuine. It provides credibility in respect of the purely of the product. Further, the merit of having a hallmark on the gold or silver jewelry is that it is easy to sell it in the market as it describes its authenticity which lacks in products that do not have a hallmark on it.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HALLMARK AND TRADEMARK?
|1||A hallmark is a mark that is put on the articles, especially, gold and silver articles in order to depict the purity, genuineness and origin of the article.||A trademark is a symbol, word, word, etc. which is capable of distinguishing one mark from the rest of the other marks. A Trademark exclusively identifies a product as a mark to a specific company and acts as an identification to the company’s ownership of the brand.|
|2||A hallmark is not used to distinguish businesses from one another.||Trademark acts as identification from distinguishing from one business to another.|
|3||Hallmark is governed under BIS, Act.||Trademarks are governed under the Trademarks Act, 1999.|
|4||The Hallmark is a mark to authenticate a product. It is a mark of purity of the product.||It is a mark of identification and distinction from other products.|
|5||The hallmark for which the registration certificate is applied will be applicable for a period of 5 years||A trademark is valid for 5 years.|
BENEFITS OF HALLMARK?
- Articles that are hallmarked are easily sold by the buyer as compared to the articles which are not as the hallmark is an identity depicting the purity of the product.
- It helps the seller to identify the article’s purity.
- It helps quick evaluation of the gold or silver article been handled.
- There is the assurance of the authenticity of the product purchased.
- The BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards) acts as proof of the purity of the product. Without the information of the authenticity of the article, a buyer may end up paying way more than the actual cost of the product.
- Safety in respect of been facing fraud.
IS HALLMARK COMPULSORY?
The obtaining of Hallmark is made compulsory from 16.06.2021. Before that, it was not compulsory. However, the time has been provided to the manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers of Good Jewelry and no penalties will be imposed till the end of August.
However, there is a certain category of Jewelers who are exempted from obtaining compulsory Hallmark on gold and silver articles. The Jewelers whose annual turnover is up to Rs.40 lacs, such Jewelers are exempted from obtaining compulsory Hallmark.
As per the policy export and re-import of jewelry, Jewelry for Govt. Approved B2B domestic exhibitions, Jewelry for International exhibitions will be exempted from Hallmarking. Moreover, jewelry like Kundan, Polki, etc. will be exempted from Hallmarking.
WHAT IS THE PROCESS OF CERTIFICATION OF HALLMARK?
Before obtaining a Hallmark certificate one has to get registered under the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).
Documents required for getting registered under BIS:-
- Obtain Application Form-I from the BIS Government website. The applicant has to duly fill and file the Form along with the registration fees of Rs.1000/.
- Document for verification of the address of the establishment of the manufacturing Unit for which BIS License is required (e.g. Registration Certificate, MoA, etc).
- A copy of Registration Certificate from the Local / State authority or from a Chartered Accountant in case the applicant applies as SSI unit (Small Scale Industries which comes under MSME Act),
- Process Flow-chart covering all processes of manufacturing from raw material to finished product.
- A detailed list of manufacturing machinery, with the name of the machinery.
- Details of manufacturing processes that are outsourced. Including a copy of the agreement.
- List of testing facilities, clearly indicating the name of the equipment, the test for which it is used range / least count/accuracy of the test equipment, calibration status, and quantity.
- Copies of calibration certificates of testing equipment valid for a minimum of 3 months from the recording of the application.
- ‘Consent letter’ from BIS recognized laboratory.
- Copy each of the test reports/suppliers’ test certificates for each of the raw materials/components.
- Copy of in-house or independent test report (if available) for the product covering all requirements as per the relevant Indian Standard.
- In case the application is signed by the authorized signatory of the applicant, an authorization letter from the CEO in the name of the authorized signatory.
- Within 15 days of applying for a Hallmark Certificate through the Application provided on the BIS website, an inspection will be made by the appropriate authority in respect of the manufacturing unit, a quality check of the machines used in respect of the Indian Standards.
- In case of correction required in the form, Intimation to the Applicant will be provided by the BIS authority. The applicant needs to make necessary corrections within fourteen days from the date of the intimation.
- If the Registration is approved such will be intimated to the Applicant after which the Applicant should pay the registration fees within fourteen days. The registration fees are as follows:
|S. No.||Turnover||Registration Fees|
|1||Above Rs.100 crores||Rs.80,000/- per branch|
|2||Above Rs. 25 crores and up to 100 crores||Rs.40,000/- per branch|
|3||Above Rs.5 crores and up to Rs.25 crores||Rs.15,000/- per branch|
|4||Less than Rs.5 crores||Rs.7,500/- per branch|
It is to be understood that the fees payable are only for one precious metal. If the jeweler has paid for one metal such fees paid will be limited to that metal only. If the Jeweler has more than 5 branches in India, he can opt for a combined certificate of Hallmark.
Hallmark on gold and silver articles is highly beneficial not only for the buyer/customer but also the seller as well. Further, it is safeguarding from fraudulent activity. The presence of a Hallmark acts as an identification of the purity of the article. Earlier it wasn’t mandatory but now the government has made it compulsorily effective with certain exemptions.