Chain-of-Custody

RJC Chain-of-Custody – Review of the Standard

May 2016

The RJC is reviewing its Chain-of-Custody (CoC) standard, scheduled to take place throughout 2016 for completion by mid-2017.

WHAT IS THE CoC STANDARD?

The RJC’s Code of Practices (COP) provides a common standard for responsible business practices and is mandatory for all RJC members. The CoC standard builds on and complements the COP, and is voluntary for RJC members. The CoC standard provides requirements for the creation of a Chain-of-Custody for responsibly-sourced precious metals in the jewellery supply chain (gold and platinum group metals). It specifies requirements for a business to segregate CoC material and to provide relevant information supporting the provenance of CoC materials when it is transferred or sold to other parties along the chain. CoC material may be purchased and sold between different businesses certified as conforming with the CoC standard, thereby enabling credible claims to be made to customers and consumers about the responsible sourcing of precious metals.

WHY IS THE RJC REVIEWING ITS COC STANDARD?

The first version of the RJC CoC standard was published in 2012. With now over 30 RJC Member entities certified against the standard and four years of implementation experience, a review of the standard is due. This is in line with ISEAL Alliance Codes of Good Practice.

WHAT IS THE SCOPE OF CHANGE?

The review will include a gap analysis to identify the full scope of changes. The cross-recognitions the RJC has with other standards (such as the Conflict Free Sourcing Initiative (CFSI) and the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA)’s Responsible Gold Guidance (RGG)) will continue to be an important part of CoC certification process, and these will be updated as part of the review. An independent assessment of alignment with OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas, will also inform potential changes to the CoC standard. Another area for review is the criteria for eligibility of CoC material with a view to increase the volume of certified CoC material entering the jewellery supply chain.

HOW WILL THE RJC CARRY OUT THE REVIEW OF ITS COC STANDARD?

Oversight of the review and decision-making lies with the RJC’s multi-stakeholder Standards Committee. This Committee is made up of equal numbers of industry and non-industry stakeholders and includes representatives from each part of the jewellery supply chain as well as individuals from non-governmental organisations (NGOs), civil society, auditors, and experts.

The consultation process also includes:

  • the opportunity for public comment via the RJC website and dedicated email address throughout the revision process;
  • a program of targeted outreach and consultation to be determined by the RJC management team in conjunction with the Standards Committee;
  • the public release of at least one draft of the revised Standard (expected January 2017).

Decision-making for the standards review is based on the ISEAL Alliance Code of Good Practice for Standard Setting. The process follows a consensus-seeking approach, and where consensus cannot be reached on a decision of significance, a vote is taken amongst the Committee Members. This process in outlined in further detail within the RJC Governance Handbook.

HOW YOU CAN ENGAGE WITH THE COC REVIEW:

Input and feedback on the RJC CoC Standard review is welcome at any time during the review process. In the first phase of work, we particularly welcome comments on gaps with the standard and potential approaches to address these gaps.

Comments and questions will be recorded and compiled in a summary for public sharing, without attribution to individuals or organizations (unless otherwise agreed).

Please email: consultationCoC@responsiblejewellery.com

The RJC will release at least one draft of the proposed revised RJC CoC standard for public consultation. This is anticipated to take place between January and March 2017. If you are a RJC Member, or stakeholder on our ‘Interested Parties’ list, you will be informed of this by email with information on opportunities to provide input and deadlines.

If you would like to sign up to RJC communications to receive information on the CoC review, please do so here: www.responsiblejewellery.com/newsletter-sign-up/

ARE YOU AN RJC MEMBER PLANNING TO CONDUCT A COC AUDIT IN THE NEXT YEAR?

Please continue with your plans. The RJC CoC standard will remain voluntary and there will be an appropriate phase-in period to allow for those previously certified against the 2012 CoC to transition to the new version of the standard. The details pertaining to the phase-in period will be communicated to members once the new version of the CoC standard has been finalised.

If you have any concerns, please email consultationCoC@responsiblejewellery.com

DO YOU HAVE ANY CONCERNS ABOUT THE REVISION PROCESS?

In the first instance, individuals are encouraged to share any concerns or questions with the RJC Management Team who will seek to address and resolve issues. Please contact: consultationCoC@responsiblejewellery.com

In the case of formal complaints, the RJC Complaints Mechanism will guide the RJC response. Formal complaints will be recorded and referred to the RJC Standards Committee where impartial and documented efforts to resolve procedural complaints will be made and decisions taken disclosed, at least to interested parties. Please email complaints@responsiblejewellery.com using subject line ‘CoC Consultation’.

Chain-of-Custody Standards Development

Background

The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) was established understanding that consumer confidence in jewellery depends on responsible business practices being applied throughout the jewellery supply chain. Therefore, the initial work of the RJC focused on the development of its Code of Practices, which set robust and auditable standards of ethical, social and environmental practices applicable to member companies throughout the jewellery supply chain, from mine to retail.  All Commercial Members of the RJC are required to be audited by accredited, third-party auditors to verify their conformance with the RJC’s Code of Practices, and become certified under the RJC System.

In 2010, the RJC began work on a Chain-of-Custody standard to assist Members seeking to utilise chain-of-custody as a voluntary, complementary element to the RJC Member Certification process. The RJC launched Chain-of-Custody (CoC) Certification applicable to gold and platinum group metals in March 2012.  Consultation continues on applicability to diamonds.

This webpage documents and archives RJC’s discussion papers, drafts of the CoC Certification documents, presentations and consultation for the Chain-of-Custody standards development process. We look forward to continuing engagement and implementation with stakeholders on this important initiative.

Links:

For more information, please contact: consultation@responsiblejewellery.com

Recognised Responsible Mining Standards

Recognition of the  Fairmined Standard Version 2.0

There are several standards organisations working in the area of responsible artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM).  While the RJC Code of Practices is open to application by ASM producers, more development-focused standards have been designed by these organisations to support the particular challenges of the ASM sector.

In September 2014, the RJC formally recognised the Fairmined Standard v.2.0 as a ‘Recognised Responsible Mining Standard’ under the RJC Chain-of-Custody Standard.  The formal recognition of this ASM standard aims to further the work of the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM) with certified artisanal and small-scale producers, particularly in conflict areas. The benefits for these producers will include expanded access to chain-of-custody pathways through to RJC’s Membership in the jewellery supply chain.  The recognition allows RJC  CoC Certified Entities  to source gold sourced from a Fairmined certified mining organisation, being confident in the practices at the mine, and thus contribute to the further integration of ASM into the formal economy. This builds on the recommendations of the ‘OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains – Supplement on Gold’ that all gold supply chain participants support legitimate ASM producers.

Recognition of the Fairtrade Standard

Fairtrade are currently in the process of reviewing their standards for gold. This process is expected to conclude in December 2014. RJC will review an update on the prior recognition of the standard  after the conclusion of their standards revision process.

For more information, please contact:  consultation@responsiblejewellery.com

Chain-of-Custody for Diamonds – Diamonds Sub-Committee – February 2012

In December 2011, RJC announced that it would temporarily suspend the finalisation of the draft RJC CoC Standard as it applies to diamonds so as to undertake additional consultation with the diamond industry concerning the feasibility of the draft RJC CoC Standard.  A Sub-Committee to the Standards Committee has been formed for this process and is developing Terms of Reference for work during 2012.

Stakeholders interested in this issue are also welcome to provide input and feedback to the RJC.  To facilitate further consultation on these issues, drafts of the CoC Standard applicable to diamonds and precious metals are available.  These reflect the input received from the 3 rounds of public comment, detailed below, during 2010 and 2011. The drafts can be downloaded below:

 

 

Comments are welcome to consultation@responsiblejewellery.com

 

Finalisation of Chain-of-Custody Certification Documents – September 2011 – January 2012

From September 2011 to January 2012, the RJC has worked with its Standards Committee and Consultative Panel to finalise the Chain-of-Custody Certification documentation.

Key areas of work have been:

Enhancing support for Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining (ASM) activities in the jewellery supply chain via the CoC Standard.  In particular, new provisions and guidance have been developed for ASM operating on the concessions of large-scale mining companies, and how professionalisation and formalisation can be supported.

Reviewing alignment with the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for the Responsible Supply Chain of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas – Gold Supplement.  RJC is actively participating in the Gold Supplement Drafting Committee and the Supplement is expected to be published in the first half of 2012.  For more information on OECD’s work in this area, please visit the OECD site.

Clarifying due diligence requirements for gold produced as a byproduct from other metal mining, such as copper.  Due diligence provisions will apply particularly to refiners who source low-grade processing residues which include trace gold.

Review of concerns relating to the feasibility of Chain-of-Custody Certification for the diamond supply chain, particularly with smaller diamonds (melee).  Click here for a report on additional consultation in Antwerp, Belgium on CoC for diamonds held during the week of November 7, 2011.

A range of editoral improvements, editorial guidance and clarifications, in response to the comments raised in the 3rd Comments Report.

In January 2012, RJC received a submission from the US Department of State – click here for a copy.

RJC delivered an update on the Chain of Custody standards at VICENZAORO Winter 2012 in Vicenza, at the SIHH in Geneva and at the BJOP in Paris in January 2012. Please click here for a copy of the presentation.

RJC continues to welcome inquiries and feedback on its CoC initiative.  Please contact:  consultation@responsiblejewellery.com

Archive of Public Comment Periods

Chain-of-Custody Discussion Papers 3 for public comment – 24 June to 22 August 2011

RJC released a 3rd set of RJC papers for a final 60 day stakeholder comment period to seek feedback on the RJC’s proposed Chain-of-Custody Certification for diamonds, gold and platinum metals. The papers responded to the second round of consultation on the proposed Standard held during September 2010 – February 2011 – for a report on this stage see further down this web page.

The third set of discussion papers can be downloaded by clicking the links below:

 

 

Click here for a one-page summary of the RJC’s Chain-of-Custody Certification proposal.

Click here to play a recorded webinar that gives a 20 minute overview of RJC’s draft CoC Certification initiative.

Click here for a copy of the webinar slides.

Click here for the Comments Report on the comments received during the 3rd public comment period.

 

 

Chain-of-Custody sessions in London and Las Vegas – May to June 2011

In May and June 2011, the RJC held an update on the Chain-of-Custody Certification at its Annual General Meeting in London, and at the JCK Show in Las Vegas. The sessions provided an update on key issues facing the jewellery supply chain and how the draft RJC Chain-of-Custody Standard aims to address them. A copy of the presentation slides can be downloaded here:

 

Baselworld Panel session – March 2011

In March 2011, RJC, Solidaridad and Fairtrade Foundation co-convened a Panel Session on Responsible Sourcing and Chain of Custody at Baselworld 2011. A copy of the presentation slides can be downloaded here:

 

Chain-of-Custody Roundtables – January to February 2011
January-February 2011, twelve roundtable sessions were convened with more than 185 stakeholders in the UK, Europe and USA to discuss the draft Standard and gather perspectives. A copy of all the presentation slides can be downloaded here:

A summary of the roundtables can be found in the Comments Report for Discussion Paper 2, below.

 

Chain-of-custody Discussion Paper 2 – September 2010
The purpose of RJC’s second discussion paper was to seek feedback on proposals for RJC to develop Chain-of-Custody Certification in the jewellery supply chain for diamonds, gold and platinum metals. Download a copy of the paper here:

An initial draft Standard was laid out in some detail, to help facilitate concrete discussion about design and implementation issues. The draft Standard aimed to strike a balance between commercially realistic requirements and the critical objective of supply chain integrity. The RJC welcomed input on how the proposal could be further improved and provided a four month public comment period for stakeholder review of this paper, until 31 January 2011.

A report on the input received is available below.

 

Chain-of-custody workshop – 18 May, 2010 – London
RJC Members and a number of invited stakeholders participated in a workshop in London on chain-of-custody certification in the jewellery supply chain. The workshop was convened following the RJC’s Annual General Meeting. The purpose of the workshop was to initiate a discussion about the issues and options relating to chain-of-custody and the feasibility of a voluntary chain-of-custody certification model. The RJC thanks speakers and participants for their contributions to an informative session, and looks forward to an ongoing dialogue on these issues.

The workshop program and presentations can be downloaded below.

 

Chain-of-custody Discussion Paper 1 – April 2010
An initial discussion paper was published on April 19, 2010 to initiate dialogue on key issues and options:

The above input was taken into account in considering the activities and potential timelines of the next stage of investigations.

Please contact: consultation@responsiblejewellery.com

Go back to Top