Although many gold traders have suggested extending the effective date of a new circular on jewelry quality management, the Ministry of Science and Technology still insists on applying the circular from early this month to protect the interests of consumers, a local newspaper has said.

According to the Saigon Times Daily, Circular 22/2013/TT-BKHCN, which was issued by the ministry last September and took effect on June 1, regulates management and measurement policies for the gold trading business.

Under the document, the standards of quality and measurement of the gold jewelry items traded on the local market must be written in a code with the correct gold content.

The circular aims to help reduce substandard gold products on the market and serve as a more effective legal tool for management agencies to tackle violations.

However, local traders claimed that they had been on tenterhooks as the time from the circular’s date of issuance to that of coming into force was too short for them to make necessary preparations and manage their inventory.

Nguyen Hoang Linh, head of the ministry’s Directorate for Standards, Metrology and Quality, said Circular 22 did not mention the concept of ‘inventory’ and that all jewelry items available on the market must meet quality requirements set by the circular early this month.

In the past nine months, gold traders should have finished preparations to meet requirements by the circular and solved all substandard jewelry items. Consumers had the right to choose the items with various gold contents and prices and to buy those with the correct gold content announced by producers, Linh said.

In fact, most jewelry products on the market have been made without codes indicating clear gold contents. As a result, many people pay for the gold jewelry items they believe to have sufficient gold content but when they sell the products, they receive far less money than they expect because the gold content is announced much lower.

For instance, most 18-carat jewelry whose at least 75 percent of the content should be pure gold but the real content is only 66 percent gold on the domestic market.

Therefore, Nguyen Van Dung, Chairman of the Saigon Jewelry Association, said the circular was a legal foundation to restore order on the gold jewelry and fine arts market and to protect the interests of customers.-VNA