April 9, 2021
Important Update: Since Jewelers of America first shared this news, the U.S. Treasury Department announced additional sanctions that target individuals and entities connected to the Myanmar Military Regime. The most recent sanctions, announced on April 8, 2021, target Myanma Gems Enterprise (MGE), a Burmese state-owned entity operating under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation. MGE is a subdivision of the Ministry of Mines and oversees all of the official gemstone operations in the country.

In addition to MGE, the list of sanctions now includes the following entities connected to gemstones:
  • Myanmar Economic Holdings Public Company Limited (MEHL) (As of March 25, 2021)
  • Myanmar Economic Corporation Limited (MEC). (As of March 25, 2021)
  • Myanmar Ruby Enterprise (As of February 12, 2021)
  • Myanmar Imperial Jade Co. (As of February 12, 2021)
  • Cancri Gems and Jewellery Co. (As of February 12, 2021)
As the scope of the sanctions continues to broaden in terms of impact, Jewelers of America reminds members to operate with extreme caution regarding the sourcing of rubies, jade and other gemstones that may have originated from Myanmar. Jewelers of America has updated our Member Guidance to reflect the latest on this issue, you can read it here.

Attend our webinar on 5/13 with JVC to get an overview of the sanctions and best practices on responsible sourcing.

See below for our earlier update from February 18, 2021:

Following a military coup in Myanmar (Burma) on February 1, President Joe Biden signed a new Executive Order on February 12 that includes sanctions on three separate gemstone companies with direct links to military leaders involved in the coup.

Effective immediately, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) Specially-Designated Nationals (SDN) list has added:
  • Myanmar Ruby Enterprise
  • Myanmar Imperial Jade Co.
  • Cancri Gems and Jewellery Co.

The move bans the companies from conducting business in the U.S. or working with U.S. companies. While the full impact of the ban is still unclear, the Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC) has indicated the three companies cover much of the existing gemstone trade from Myanmar. In addition to the named companies, the sanctions also include military leaders who participated in the coup.

Jewelers of America urges members to contact their colored gemstone suppliers to determine whether they are currently sourcing gemstones that originated from the sanctioned entities. If a supplier is working with a business on the OFAC list, JA members must require them to cut ties with those businesses immediately. Jewelers of America members should conduct due diligence to ensure that they are not sourcing goods from any companies that continue to work with the sanctioned businesses or individuals.

The move by the Biden Administration takes place a little over five years since the U.S. lifted sanctions on ruby and Jade from Myanmar. At the time, there was hope for the country, which had implemented much-needed democratic reforms, including the country’s first free elections in 25 years in November 2015. Those reforms proved fragile, with the Trump administration implementing targeted sanctions on military and police commanders in 2018, following reports of ethnic cleansing against the country’s Rohingya Muslim population. The February 1 military action took place after the National League for Democracy (NDL) lead by Aung San Suu Kyi won a landslide election victory in November.

Jewelers of America will continue to monitor the situation in Myanmar and provide further guidance to members as needed.

We have update our Member Guidance to reflect the situation, you can read it here. You will need your JA Member login to access the guidance document.

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