From June, only BIS certified gold refineries can import dore
The director general of foreign trade on Friday issued a notice saying dore (unrefined) gold can be imported only by refineries certified by the Bureau of Indian standards (BIS).
An average of 150-200 tonnes are imported a year. The duty on dore is marginally lower, which incentivise such refineries to import and do valuation in India.
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The new norms on dore imports will be effective June 1. BIS had nearly a year ago developed standards for gold refining but these were not mandatory.
India has 32 dore gold refineries, with annual refining capacity of 1,470 tonnes. However, lack of dore availability and business viability has kept only 18 active. Of which, seven or eight have been certified by the BIS.
Some refineries in the excise-free zone at Rudrapur in Uttarakhand allow dore refining on contract. This will stop from June. Even these refineries will take several months to get BIS certifications. However, according to a large BIS-certified refiner, “Import and refining will not be impacted because of the new norms. Refineries that were unable to use full capacity will get more business now."