Israeli authorities have extended the amount of time dealers can spend inspecting polished diamonds without paying a 0.1% import duty.
As long as the goods are worth $50,000 or more, companies will be allowed up to 30 days to examine stones tax-free before deciding whether to buy them, the Israel Diamond Exchange said.
“The change will help large companies with factories abroad bring more goods to Israel for sorting before they ship them, IDE president Yoram Dvash wrote in a letter to members of the exchange earlier this month. Previously, many Israeli companies had goods shipped straight to their branches around the world, rather than bringing them for inspection in their home country, he said.
“The time pressure imposed by the inspection period and the tax on goods resulted in merchandise not reaching Israel,” he added.
The system also prevented Israeli firms from properly examining diamonds before purchasing or returning them, the IDE explained. The tax-free period is only for inspection of goods, Dvash explained. Authorities will consider anyone who changes a stone’s character — such as its weight or value — to have imported the item, and will therefore levy a charge. That includes cutting, polishing, repairing and cleaning, Dvash continued.” said Rapaport.
The new rule is in effect from May 1 until October 31, after that the amendment will be assessed and extended if achieved its purpose. Only companies that ship polished into Israel will be charged.