India, Europe’s EFTA Free Trade Pact to Triple Gem & Jewellery Exports: GJEPC


14h March 2024

The Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement (TEPA) between India and European Free Trade Association (EFTA) has opened immense opportunities for Indian gem and jewellery (G&J) sector to enhance its exports to the untapped EFTA countries especially to Switzerland. EFTA countries have removed customs duties on the entire chapter 71 (Gem and Jewellery products) enabling Indian exporters of G&J to have a duty free access in all the EFTA countries – Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein

Vipul Shah, Chairman, GJEPC said, “I extend my gratitude to the Government of India, particularly to Shri Piyush Goyal, Hon’ble Minister of Commerce & Industry, for incorporating GJEPC’s recommendations in the India-EFTA Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement (TEPA). The $100 bn bilateral trade pact has opened up immense opportunities for Indian gem and jewellery manufacturers to broaden their export prospects in the EFTA region. It will also pave the way for new and larger FTAs with many other European countries. I am sure that exports of gem and jewellery products to EFTA group will scale up from US$335 million to at least US$1 billion in the coming times. I believe there is a huge scope for exporting fine gold jewellery and silver jewellery with high gloss and matte finishes, as well as luxurious diamond and coloured gemstone jewellery.”

GJEPC had closely worked with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry during the negotiations of this momentous agreement with EFTA group. The GJEPC recommended HS line-wise (at 8 digit level) stance pertaining to offerings/ requests to be made to the EFTA group in the light of best interest of the whole industry.

EFTA’s total imports of finished Gem & Jewellery products are at US$12.3 billion and from India its imports are merely at US$335 million (India’s share is 2.7% in EFTA total imports of G&J from World) leaving a vast scope for Indian manufacturers and exporters to enhance its exports to the untapped EFTA markets.

Relaxations for EFTA group w.r.t gem and jewellery sector are as follows:

  • Imports of the following products from EFTA countries in India would be duty free at the end of 5 years, 7 years or 10 years meaning thereby duties on the following products would be eliminated in equal instalments over a period of 5/7/10 years.
  1. Natural/Cultured Pearls – Worked and Unworked
  2. Rough diamonds – Natural
  3. Precious and Semiprecious coloured gemstones – Unworked
  4. Polished Synthetic stones.
  5. Dust and Powder of Diamonds and Stones
  • Customs duty on the imports of the following products from EFTA has been reduced from 5% to 2.5% to be eliminated in 5 equal annual instalments
  • Cut and Polished Diamonds
  • Precious and Semiprecious coloured gemstones – Worked
  • Lab grown diamonds -polished
  • The most important is reduction of duty by 1% from Bound Rate on precious metal gold imports from EFTA countries
  • PSRs are in line with the FTP norms and feasible

About The Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC):

The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), set up by the Ministry of Commerce, Government of India (GoI) in 1966, is one of several Export Promotion Councils (EPCs) launched by the Indian Government, to boost the country’s export thrust, when India’s post-Independence economy began making forays in the international markets. Since 1998, the GJEPC has been granted autonomous status. The GJEPC is the apex body of the gems & jewellery industry and today around 10,000 members in the sector.  With headquarters in Mumbai, GJEPC has Regional Offices in New Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Surat and Jaipur, all of which are major centres for the industry. It thus has a wide reach and is able to have a closer interaction with members to serve them in a direct and more meaningful manner. Over the past decades, GJEPC has emerged as one of the most active EPCs and has continuously strived to both expand its reach and depth in its promotional activities as well as widen and increase services to its members.