Switzerland wants customs-based gold segregation to be more transparent | Instant News

The gold supply chain has been criticized for being too opaque. Keystone / Martin Ruetschi

The world’s gold refiners want international customs to differentiate between mined gold and bank gold to help improve supply chain transparency and traceability.

This content is published on 24 September 2020 – 13:58


On Thursday, the Alpine country submitted a proposal to the World Customs Organization (WCO) to change the current gold classification for international customs. Currently the WCO harmonization system has a single code for non-wrought gold (impure gold which needs further processing). This means that it is impossible for the system to distinguish whether gold imported into a country is refined or not.

By obtaining worldwide customs duties to distinguish between mined gold and bank gold, Switzerland “wanted to increase supply chain traceability and obtain more accurate statistics”. One fifth of world gold trade passes through Switzerland.

However, the proposal is not entirely altruistic. If accepted, then the Swiss gold refinery will play fair because starting next year Swiss gold importers will have to provide additional information about the type of gold in the import declaration form.

If the Swiss proposal is accepted by WCO members, the new customs tariff classification for gold will become the international standard from 2027.

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