Guidance

Export rough diamonds: special rules

You need a certificate to export rough diamonds.

You can export jewels, gold and precious metals without a licence or certificate, except for uncut (rough) diamonds.

There’s a ban on exporting precious and semi precious stones, gold and silver items and other luxury goods to North Korea or Syria.

Some countries may have import rules for certain goods. You can check by talking to your importer or getting help researching your export market.

1. Rough diamonds

The Government Diamond Office (GDO) is currently offering a reduced service due to COVID-19 public safety measures.

To enquire about a Kimberley Process Certificate, contact the GDO from 10am to 4pm, Monday to Friday.

You can only import and export rough diamonds to and from countries in the Kimberley Process (KP) Certification Scheme or your goods may be seized. The KP regulates the international trade in rough diamonds.

You must get a KP certificate to export each rough diamond shipment outside the UK.

2. Trading internationally in rough diamonds from 1 January 2021

From 1 January 2021, the UK is an independent participant of the KP. If you import or export rough diamonds, find out how the change will affect you.

2.1 Importing and exporting rough diamonds between Great Britain and the EU

All rough diamond exports from Great Britain to the EU require UK KP certification. If you plan to export rough diamonds from Great Britain to EU countries, you must apply to the Government Diamond Office for a UK KP certificate using the contact details on this page.

All rough diamond imports from the EU to Great Britain need an EU-issued KP certificate. If you plan to import rough diamonds from EU countries to Great Britain, the EU exporter will need to obtain an EU-issued KP certificate from the relevant EU KP authority.

For further information about trading rough diamonds with the EU, see the latest version of the Border Operating Model (BOM). The BOM explains how the border with the EU will work, and includes useful information about customs and other new arrangements.

Under the terms of the Northern Ireland Protocol, the EU Kimberley Process Certification Scheme Regulation will continue to apply in Northern Ireland. This means that:

2.2 Moving rough diamonds between Great Britain and Northern Ireland

You will need a KP certificate if you plan to:

  • move rough diamonds from Great Britain to Northern Ireland
  • move rough diamonds from Northern Ireland to Great Britain

See guidance on customs procedures that need to be completed when you move rough diamonds between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

If you are planning to import or export rough diamonds from or to Northern Ireland, you should contact the Government Diamond Office for more information.

2.3 Importing and exporting rough diamonds between Northern Ireland and other Kimberley Process participants (except the EU)

If you plan to export rough diamonds from Northern Ireland to another Kimberley Process participant, except the EU, you will need a KP certificate.

If you plan to import rough diamonds into Northern Ireland from another Kimberley Process participant, except the EU, the exporter will need to obtain a KP certificate.

2.4 Moving rough diamonds between Northern Ireland and the EU

You do not need KP certification to move rough diamonds between Northern Ireland and the EU.

3. Contact the Government Diamond Office

Email: kpuk@fcdo.gov.uk

Telephone: 020 7008 2938 Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm

Find out about call charges.

4. Privacy notice

The Government Diamond Office privacy notice describes how the GDO manages the personal data that it receives for rough diamond trade related activities. It explains how the GDO will use your personal data, and what your rights are in relation to our use of your personal data.

Published 7 November 2016
Last updated 31 December 2020 + show all updates
  1. Updated to explain new rules as the UK becomes an independent participant in the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme.

  2. Updated Government Diamond Office opening hours: 10am to 4pm, Monday to Friday

  3. Kimberly Process certification service no longer available due to COVID-19 restrictions

  4. Fast-track service no longer available due to COVID-19 restrictions; 'Applying for a Kimberly Process certificate' document updated

  5. 'Conflict Diamonds and the Kimberley Process: general background and guidance' document updated

  6. Added link to Brexit guidance.

  7. Privacy notice, guidance on the Kimberley Process and on applying for a certificate added.

  8. First published.

  1. Step 1 Check if you need to follow this process

    Follow these steps if you're moving goods permanently from:

    • England, Wales or Scotland (Great Britain) to a country outside the UK
    • Northern Ireland to a country outside the UK and the EU

    What you need to do is different if you are:

    1. Learn about exporting, including making export plans, on great.gov.uk
  2. Step 2 Check the rules for exporting your goods

  3. and Apply for any licences you need to export your goods

  4. Step 3 Get your business ready to export

    You need an EORI number that starts with GB to export goods from England, Wales or Scotland.

    If you move goods to or from Northern Ireland you may need one that starts with XI.

    1. Get an EORI number
    1. Check if you need to register for VAT

    There are processes that can make clearing customs quicker and easier to manage if you export goods regularly.

    1. Find out about using simplified declaration procedures
    2. Check if you can use Common Transit to move your goods
    3. Check if Authorised Economic Operator status is right for you
  5. and Check whoever's receiving the goods can import them

    The business or person receiving the goods to may need:

    • to make an import declaration in their country
    • licences or certificates to receive goods from the UK

    Check whoever you are sending the goods to is able to import them into their country.

  6. Step 4 Decide who will make export declarations and transport the goods

  7. Step 5 Classify your goods

    You must find the right commodity code to classify the goods you're exporting.

    Your customs agent or transporter might be able to help you with this.

    1. Find the right commodity code for your goods
  8. Step 6 Prepare the invoice and other documentation for your goods

    The completed invoice and any licences or certificates must travel with the goods.

    When filling in the value of your goods on the invoice, use the price you’re selling them for. If you're not selling the goods, use the market value of the goods. List any freight or export insurance you included in the price separately.

    You may need proof of origin if exporting to a country where your goods have a reduced or zero rate of duty.

    1. Get proof of origin for your goods

    You might be able to zero rate the goods for VAT. This means you can charge your customers VAT at 0%.

    1. Check if you can zero rate the goods for VAT
  9. Step 7 Get your goods through customs

    If you've appointed someone to deal with UK customs for you, they'll make the declaration and get your goods through the UK border.

    1. Make an export declaration and get your goods cleared by UK customs

    You may need other documentation to get your goods into the destination country. Ask the person or business buying your goods what information you need to provide.

    1. Check how to bring goods back into the UK if they were rejected for import at another country’s border
  10. Step 8 Keep invoices and records

    You must keep commercial invoices and any customs paperwork.

    If you're VAT registered, record the goods in your VAT accounts even if they are zero-rated.

    1. Find out how to record the goods in your VAT accounts

    If you exported controlled goods, for example firearms, keep the paperwork that shows who owns the goods.