Consumer Protection
DFHK / NDQA / Consumer Protection
Consumer Protection
All NDQA Participating Retailers are committed to abide by the terms and conditions of the ‘Integrity Pledge’ and confirm full adherence to all current Hong Kong SAR Government Regulations on trading in diamonds and jewellery.
 

All NDQA Participating Retailers are committed to abide by the terms and conditions under the NDQA Mark Scheme, ‘Integrity Pledge’, and the current Hong Kong SAR Government Regulations on trading in diamonds and jewellery.

DFHK “Integrity Pledge”

Historically, the Integrity Pledge was an initiative of the Diamond Importers’ Association (DIA) with the Hong Kong Tourism Board in the 70’s and later adapted by Diamond Federation of Hong Kong (DFHK) after the merger of DIA & the Hong Kong Diamond Bourse (HKDB) in 2000.


Over the years, with the support of the HKSAR Government’s trade ordinance and policies, the maturity of the grading laboratories and equipment and the traders’ readiness, DFHK enhanced the Integrity Pledge and upgraded it to a higher level and rolled out the NDQA Mark Scheme in 2015. The objectives and benefits of the scheme are beneficial to the consumers, the participants and Hong Kong Jewellery Industry as a whole.


Objectives and benefits of the scheme


1)To protect consumers and enhance retailers’ reputation

Under the NDQA Mark Scheme (hereunder “the Scheme”), the participant’s pledge to integrity and quality will raise the credibility of retailers, protect consumers’ rights and ultimately, enhance retailers’ reputation.


2) To build Hong Kong as a brand, a hub for diamond shopping

The Scheme provides an independent third-party monitoring system on diamond quality disclosure which enables consumers to buy diamonds with perfect confidence. With the industry wide-support on the Scheme, Hong Kong can be promoted as a brand for consumers buying diamonds.


3) To improve sales of participating retailers

The Scheme provides a fair business environment to the industry. Participating retailers must be professional and honest in conducting their trade, ensure that only natural diamonds are sold and divulge all information about the diamond in the selling process.

“Natural Diamond Quality Assurance Mark”, being displayed at the participating retailers’ shops, is the ultimate quality assurance which enables consumers to buy diamonds with perfect confidence. This will further encourage sales and create a win-win situation for consumers and participating retailers.

Assistance from DFHK
Recommendations from the DFHK
The DFHK have the following recommendations to consumers when purchasing diamonds:
  • To buy from reputable jewelers or at any NDQA Participating Retailers.

  • To ask for invoice and receipt with detailed description of the diamond purchased.

  • For any query, please produce the relevant invoice and seek clarification from the Retailer
Under the NDQA Scheme, DFHK will provide the following assistance:
  • Any query on the quality of diamonds purchased from any ‘NDQA’ Participating Retailers, the consumer can contact DFHK directly. In order to provide the ultimate peace of mind in purchasing diamonds, the DFHK will provide the necessary mediation to resolve the issue.

  • All NDQA Participating Retailers will work closely with DFHK and pledge to proactively resolve any dispute from consumers and respond promptly and fairly to the satisfaction of both parties.

  • DFHK has implemented a Preventive Measures Guideline which is designed to ensure that all Participating Retailers are only selling natural diamonds, recommending good code of practice including sourcing and procurement procedures, modern diamond testing equipment and close monitoring of production line.

DFHK and the NDQA Mark Scheme:

DFHK undertakes the leadership role in protecting consumer rights with the cooperation of the diamond industry. Following the success of the “Quality Gold Mark” and “Natural Fei Cui Quality Mark” carried out by Hong Kong Jewellers'& Goldsmiths' Association and The Kowloon Pearls, Precious Stones, Jade, Gold and Silver Ornament Merchants Association, DFHK initiated the “NDQA Mark” scheme which is the ultimate quality assurance in strengthening consumer confidence and creates desire for buying diamonds in Hong Kong.

All participants in the DFHK’s NDQA Mark scheme agree to be bound by the DFHK’s Integrity Pledge and all relevant laws and regulations, including the Trade Description Ordinance and its orders.

DFHK acts as an independent third party to monitor the quality of diamonds, checking if they are natural, if they have been treated and if claims about them are accurate. This process entails initial assessments of any merchant’s background or reputation and impromptu on-site inspections, after which diamond samples are assessed by independent and reputable authentication laboratories.

In addition, the DFHK sets a self-regulatory manual and advises on precautionary measures to ensure that the diamonds which merchants sell are natural. Such measures cover diamond sourcing procedures, traceability of goods, natural diamond screening equipment and other devices and monitoring systems.

DFHK and the Consumers

1) Consumer rights protection

The DFHK strives to educate consumers that when buying diamond jewellery in Hong Kong, their rights are fully protected by Trade Description Ordinance and its orders. According to the ordinance, “diamond’ means “natural diamond”. Any description of non-natural diamonds using the single word “diamond” without an expression of artificial, made-made, synthetic or similar may be regarded as deceptive disclosure and lead to criminal prosecution. Furthermore, the DFHK stresses the importance of true representation of diamond quality. It educates consumers that all internationally recognized authentication on diamond quality (colour and clarity) is done by non-quantitative methods, and therefore one grade variance is acceptable.

HKSAR Government Legislation
It is imperative that reference is made to the definition of ‘Natural Diamond, from the Hong Kong SAR Government Legislation, “The Trade Descriptions Ordinance” Chapter 362.

 
TRADE DESCRIPTIONS (DEFINITION OF DIAMOND)
REGULATION CHAPTER 362L
  • The expression “diamond” or “鑽石”, when used in the course of any trade or business to describe an article, means the article is a natural mineral consisting essentially of carbon crystallized in the isometric (cubic) crystal system which has the physical properties specified as below:
    Hardness on Mohs Scale: 10 (L.N. 75 of 2008)
    Specific Gravity: not lower than 3.51 but not higher than 3.53
    Refractive Index: 2.417
    Dispersion: 0.044

  • in relation to the expression “diamond” where it is a part of an expression—
    (i) of which the expression “artificial”, “man-made”, “synthetic” or another similar expression is also a part; and
    (ii) which, taken as a whole, clearly indicates that the article concerned is not natural diamond;

  • in relation to the expression “鑽石” where it is a part of an expression—
    (i) of which the expression “人工”, “人造”, “合成” or another similar expression is also a part; and
    (ii) which, taken as a whole, clearly indicates that the article concerned is not natural diamond.
 
LEGITIMATE EXPRESSION ON "DIAMOND"
  • Base on Chapter 362 of the “Trade Description Ordinance” clearly defines that the word ‘diamond’ is strictly referred to natural diamonds with no treatment of any kind. Only Natural diamond can use the expression“鑽石”或“diamond”

  • For man-made, Lab-grown or synthetic diamonds, although its chemical composition and physical properties are similar to natural diamonds, but because they are not natural diamonds, so they cannot be used independently with the term "diamond". Expression “artificial”, “man-made”, “synthetic” or another similar expression is also a part; taken as a whole, clearly indicates that the article concerned is not natural diamond;
 
Government Regulation
 
Under the Trade Descriptions (Definition of Diamond) Regulation (L.N. 43 of 2008) section 33 (Cap. 362)
https://www.elegislation.gov.hk/hk/cap362L
 
Defines the expression "Diamond"(Section 2)
 
1. The expression “Diamond” means “Natural Diamond”. Diamond is a natural mineral consisting essentially of carbon crystallized in the isometric (cubic) crystal system which must has the physical properties specified in the Schedule prescribed under this regulation.
2. Where the term “diamond” is part of an expression, the word “artificial” “man-made”, “synthetic” or another similar wording must be used to indicate, taken as a whole, that the article concerned is not a natural diamond.
 
Trade Descriptions (Provision of Information on Diamond) Order (L.N. 80 of 2008) made under section 4 (Cap. 362).
https://www.elegislation.gov.hk/hk/cap362N
 
Defines the expression "Article of Diamond", which means any article (Section 2):
 
a. which is composed solely of diamond; or
b. which is inlaid with diamond for the purpose of adornment; or
c. on which diamond is mounted for the purpose of adornment.
 
The Trade Descriptions (Provision of Information on Diamond) Order requires any RETAILER or person who supplies an article of diamond in the course of trade or business at retail level
 
1. To issue an invoice or receipt with prescribed information (section 3) and
2. Such receipt is required to be retained for 3 years (Section 4)
3. Posting of the prescribed Notice should be displayed (Section 5) prominently to all customers at the point of supply or offer.
4. Where an article of diamond is sold by auction (Section 6) , the auctioneer deemed to be the supplier and the transaction in the course of trade or business at retail level.
 
If you have encountered any activities which are suspected to be in contravention of the Trade Descriptions Ordinance, please call Customs Hotline (24 hours): 2545 6182.
 

Unfair Trade Practices
https://www.customs.gov.hk/en/consumer_protection/trade_desc/unfair/index.html

The Trade Descriptions (Unfair Trade Practices) (Amendment) Ordinance 2012 extends the coverage of the Trade Descriptions Ordinance, Cap 362 (TDO) so as to prohibit specified unfair trade practices deployed by traders against consumers, including

• false trade descriptions of services,
• misleading omissions,
• aggressive commercial practices,
• bait advertising,
• bait-and-switch and
• wrongly accepting payment.

 
Consumer Protection- HKSAR Gov’t
 
Government Regulations
 
Hong Kong Government’s Trade Regulations “Trade Descriptions Ordinance” governs the diamond trade practice. The Trade Descriptions Ordinance provisions set out that jeweler must clearly list the product detail in the invoice for the protection of the consumer right. The Customs and Excise Department is responsible for enforcing the Trade Descriptions Ordinance, Chapter 362, Laws of Hong Kong and its eight pieces of subsidiary legislation which aim at protecting consumers by prohibiting false trade descriptions, false, misleading or incomplete information and misstatements in respect of goods provided in the course of trade.
 
Patronize reputable shops/merchants;
Check whether the invoice or receipt contains the information of the goods, including:
the full name and address of the retailer;
the price of the article;
the date of supply;
a description of the article, e.g. The fineness of gold/platinum; natural fei cui; total weight of diamond in carats.
Check the invoice details and properly keep all copies of the invoice and the goods purchased.
 
If you have encountered any activities which are suspected to be in contravention of the Trade Descriptions Ordinance, please call Customs Hotline (24 hours): 2545 6182.