WDC’s revised system of warranties now requires self assessment

25th April 2019 By: Marleny Arnoldi - Creamer Media Online Writer

The World Diamond Council (WDC) on Wednesday presented an overview of its revised System of Warranties (SoW) at the thirteenth Forum on Responsible Mineral Supply Chains of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), in Paris.

During the presentation, WDC president Stephane Fischler described the revised SoW as an essential building block for participants in the diamond supply chain towards implementing the OECD’s due diligence guidance for minerals from high-risk areas.

Like the earlier version of the SoW, it requires all participants in the diamond and jewellery value chain, from mining companies to jewellery retailers, to issue warranty statements on their business-to-business invoices and memos, testifying that the diamonds being sold originate from sources in compliance with the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS).

However, such statements must now also verify that the participants adhere to the revised SoW, which requires that they conduct a self-assessment to ascertain whether they comply with universally accepted principles on human and labour rights, antimoney laundering (AML) and anticorruption.

"The revised SoW has to be seen within the context of a range of responsible supply chain opportunities being offered to a very diverse industry. The ultimate objective for all of us is the same – ensuring consumer confidence in the products we sell. The different systems need to be complementary, being building blocks on the road to full compliance,” said Fischler.

"The revised SoW is designed to support the KPCS, covering not only the trade in rough diamonds, but polished diamonds as well, and also trading between every participant in the diamond and jewellery value chain, and not only trade between participants in different countries," explained World Jewellery Confederation board member Peter Karakchiev.

"We were hoping that the KPCS would be expanded to include provisions related to human rights, labour rights, anticorruption and AML, but we are not waiting for it to happen, and have already incorporated those elements in our own system,” he added.  

Fischler and Karakchiev pointed out that diamond companies were not permitted to pick and choose which elements to implement. Members of the trade who implement the SoW are required to fulfill all of its elements depending on their size and sector, as they are outlined in the guidelines.

To assist, the WDC is developing a self-assessment toolkit.

The toolkit is based on self-assessment questionnaires, which will assist members of the industry to properly evaluate how they comply with the process. It will take into consideration the stage or stages of the diamond and jewellery value chain in which the member is involved, the size of the member's business and whether the member is already compliant with other due diligence systems, like that of the Responsible Jewellery Council.