Skip to main content Navigation

Articles and News

Rapaport Requests OFAC Exemptions For Russian Sanctions, Urges Industry Support March 21, 2024 (0 comments)


Las Vegas, NV--Martin Rapaport, chairman of the Rapaport Group, sent a detailed letter to the U.S. Office Of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) requesting exemptions and clarifications to regulations that went into effect March 1, banning the import of diamonds from Russian sources.

In an email message to the Centurion and in a widely released press release, Rapaport is urging the jewelry industry to support this letter, which he calls “The Rapaport US Diamond Protocol.”

“The situation is serious. According to U.S. Customs, as of March 1, if you don’t know where a diamond was mined you can’t import it into the U.S.,” Martin Rapaport said in his letter to Centurion. “This includes diamond jewelry. Most diamonds are from mixed sources where the mine is unknown. They can’t be imported.”

In the press release, he says the letter addresses “several highly problematic issues related to sanctions restrictions for polished diamonds produced prior to March 1, 2024, and an exemption for all diamonds in the U.S., including recycled diamonds and pre-owned jewelry.”

In the letter to the OFAC, Rapaport expressed strong support for efforts by the US government to reduce Russia’s revenue from the sale of diamonds. The letter requests a review and consideration of the Rapaport US Diamond Protocol, which will eliminate Russian diamond revenue while protecting the interests of the US diamond trade. He said this initiative is supported by 1,587 members of the trade and the American Gem Trade Association. 

In the press release, he says: “Our objective is to eliminate the flow of funds to Russia generated by the sale of diamonds. It follows that diamond imports or transactions that do not result in the transfer of funds to Russia should not be sanctioned. There should not be any sanctions restricting the trade or import of ‘pre-war’ diamonds unless they involve current sanctioned entities. Furthermore, all polished diamonds purchased or in existence before March 1, 2024, should be exempt from sanction regulations as Russia has already received payment for them.”

Here is a link to the entire Rapaport US Diamond Protocol statement to the OFAC.

Share This:

Leave a Comment:

Human Check