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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