HR 5147 IH
H. R. 5147
To prohibit the importation of diamonds mined in certain countries, and for other purposes.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
September 12, 2000
Mr. HALL of Ohio (for himself, Mr. WOLF, and Ms. MCKINNEY) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means
To prohibit the importation of diamonds mined in certain countries, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the `Consumer Access to a Responsible Accounting of Trade Act of 2000'.
TITLE I--PROHIBITION ON IMPORTS
SEC. 101. PROHIBITION ON IMPORTS.
No diamonds that have been mined in or exported from the Republic of Sierra Leone, the Republic of Liberia, Burkina Faso, the Republic of Cote d'Ivoire, the Republic of Angola, Guinea, Togo, or Ukraine may be imported into the United States, except for diamonds--
(1) the country of origin of which has been certified as the Republic of Sierra Leone by the internationally recognized government of that country, in accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1306 July 5, 2000; or
(2) the country of origin of which has been certified as the Republic of Angola by the internationally recognized government of that country, in accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1173 of June 12, 1998.
SEC. 102. WAIVERS.
(a) CERTIFICATION OF NO TRANSSHIPMENT- The Secretary of the Treasury may waive the prohibition under section 101 with respect to a country listed in that section if the Secretary certifies to the Congress that diamonds mined in Sierra Leone or Angola are not being transshipped through that country for the purpose of evading any prohibition on trade in diamonds exported from Sierra Leone or Angola.
(b) NATIONAL SECURITY INTERESTS- The President may waive the prohibition under section 101 with respect to a country listed in that section if the President--
(1) determines that it is in the national security interests of the United States to exercise the waiver; and
(2) transmits that determination, together with reasons for the determination, to the Congress.
TITLE II--CERTIFICATES OF ORIGIN
SEC. 201. CERTIFICATES AND STATEMENTS INDICATING COUNTRY OF MINING.
(1) Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of the Treasury, in concurrence with the Special Representative on Conflict Diamonds appointed under section 401, and after consultation with appropriate organizations, Federal agencies, and members of the public, shall issue regulations requiring--
(B) products made in whole or in part from diamonds,
which enter, or are withdrawn from warehouse for consumption, into the customs territory of the United States to be accompanied by a certificate stating the English name (or unmistakable abbreviation) of the country in which the diamonds were mined. Such certificate shall be legible and reasonably conspicuous on the outermost container in which the diamonds or diamond products ordinarily are sold to the ultimate purchaser in the United States.
(2) The importer of record of diamonds or diamond products shall be responsible for the certificate required by paragraph (1).
(b) REQUIREMENT APPLICABLE TO PARCELS OF DIAMONDS- The Secretary of the Treasury may by regulation provide that the requirements of subsection (a) apply to parcels of diamonds that are imported, rather than individual diamonds.
SEC. 202. ENFORCEMENT.
(a) IN GENERAL- Whenever the Secretary of the Treasury determines that a person has violated section 201 or regulations issued thereunder, the Secretary may issue an order assessing a civil penalty of not more than $50,000 for each violation or requiring compliance with such section, or the Secretary may commence in the United States district court for the district in which the violation occurred a civil action for appropriate relief, including a preliminary or permanent injunction.
(b) CRIMINAL PENALTIES- Any person who willfully or with the intent to defraud violates subsection (a) or (b) of section 201, or any regulation issued thereunder, shall--
(1) upon conviction for the first violation under this subsection, be fined not more than $100,000, or imprisoned for not more than 1 year, or both; and
(2) upon conviction for the second or any subsequent violation under this subsection, be fined not more than $250,000, or imprisoned for not more than 1 year, or both.
(c) EXEMPTION- If diamonds or diamond products do not comply with any requirement of subsection (a) or (b) of section 201 or any regulation issued thereunder, and the Secretary determines that no fraud or willful neglect was involved in the failure to so comply, the Secretary shall afford the person responsible for complying with such requirement a reasonable opportunity to provide the certificate required by section 201(a) or the statement required by section 201(b), as the case may be.
SEC. 203. EXEMPTION AND WAIVERS.
(a) EXEMPTION- The Secretary of the Treasury, in concurrence with the Special Representative on Conflict Diamonds appointed under section 401, may exempt from the requirements of section 201 diamonds and diamond products that are valued below a minimum dollar amount determined by the Secretary.
(b) WAIVERS- The Secretary of the Treasury may waive the requirements of section 201 for periods of not more than 1 year each if, for each waiver--
(1) the Secretary determines that--
(A) it is not possible to determine, in a cost-effective manner, the country in which the diamonds imported into the United States were mined; or
(B) an effective system, such as the system described in title III, is otherwise being implemented that prevents the importation of diamonds, revenues from the sale of which would be used to support continued conflict in the regions in which the diamonds were mined; and
(2) the Secretary submits that determination, and the basis for the determination, to the Congress.
SEC. 204. REPORTS BY SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY.
The Secretary of the Treasury and the Special Representative on Conflict Diamonds shall, not later than 6 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, and not later than the end of each 12-month period thereafter, submit to the Congress a joint report on the feasibility of identifying the country in which diamonds, both rough and cut, were mined.
TITLE III--INTERNATIONAL EFFORTS
SEC. 301. FINDINGS.
The Congress finds that--
(1) the use of funds from the illegitimate diamond trade to support conflicts in Africa has devastating effects on the peoples of the regions involved in the conflicts;
(2) United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1306 and 1237 prohibit the importation of rough diamonds from Sierra Leone and Angola, except those accompanied by a certificate of origin issued by the government of that country; and
(3) the initiative of the diamond industry, as presented in the Resolution of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses and the International Diamond Manufacturers Association in Antwerp on July 19, 2000, as well as the progress of the South African led Working Group on African Diamonds, in developing proposals for a global certification and monitoring system for diamonds, are important steps toward international controls on `conflict' diamonds.
SEC. 302. ACTION BY EXECUTIVE BRANCH.
The Congress urges the President--
(1) to take immediate action to develop and implement, together with other governments and organizations, an effective international system for controlling trade in rough diamonds and to direct the appropriate Federal departments and agencies to begin planning for implementation of such a system; and
(2) once a global certificate of origin system for rough diamonds is in place, including forgery-proof certificates of exports, secure packaging, import and export controls, and an international diamond database, to take appropriate steps to fully adhere to this system, and to actively promote international compliance.
TITLE IV--SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE ON CONFLICT DIAMONDS
SEC. 401. SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE ON CONFLICT DIAMONDS.
(a) APPOINTMENT- The President shall, not later than 3 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, appoint a Special Representative on Conflict Diamonds. The Special Representatives on Conflict Diamonds shall hold office at the pleasure of the President and shall have the rank of Ambassador.
(b) FUNCTIONS- The Special Representative on Conflict Diamonds shall have the following functions:
(1) To serve as chairperson of an interagency working group established by the President to address the issues relating to the use of proceeds from the sale of diamonds mined in certain regions in Africa to support armed conflict in the countries in these regions. The interagency group shall include representatives of the Department of the Treasury (including the Customs Service), the Policy and Planning Staff and the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor of the Department of State, the Office of the United States Trade Representative, and the Department of Commerce.
(2) To represent the United States at international meetings on the issues described in paragraph (1).
(c) REPORTS TO CONGRESS- The Special Representative on Conflict Diamonds shall submit to the Congress, not later than 6 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, and not later than the end of each 6-month period thereafter, a report on the following:
(1) In consultation with the intelligence community, on the export of diamonds--
(A) from countries subject to an embargo imposed by the United Nations on imports of diamonds from those countries; and
(B) from countries through which diamonds subject to such an embargo are transshipped in order to evade the embargo, including Liberia, Burkina Faso, Togo, Cote D'Ivoire, and Ukraine.
(2) On the development of the proposals relating to the commercial importation of rough diamonds that were adopted in the resolution of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses and the International Diamond Manufacturers Association in Antwerp on July 19, 2000, including the status of--
(A) regulations of the countries that are the major exporters and importers of diamonds, relating to exports and imports of diamonds;
(B) international monitoring and inspection of diamonds that are traded; and
(C) an international computer registry of diamonds, and a means of determining the indigenous mining resources of exporting countries.
(3) On the development of technologies to mark diamonds and technologies to identify the source of diamonds after they are polished.