May 02, 2019

GIA to Update Client Agreements to Align with Enhanced ‘Know Your Customer’ Programme

Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has announced that beginning May 1 it will be asking all current and new laboratory clients to sign updated agreements as part of an enhanced ‘Know Your Customer’ (KYC) programme that it has launched. The lab said that it was taking this step to comply with applicable laws, regulations and best practices.

The KYC programme supports the high standards of integrity that align with its mission of ensuring the public trust in gems and jewellery, GIA said. As part of this process, all clients, both current and new, will be required to confirm the identity and ownership of their businesses, and to provide identifying information for all authorized representatives conducting business with GIA on their behalf. The lab stressed that these requirements are recognized globally and are not unique to GIA.

“GIA will only conduct business with reputable customers, suppliers and other third parties involved in legitimate business activities whose funds are derived from legitimate sources,” said Elizabeth Keating, GIA’s chief ethics and compliance officer. “As a global Institute, we have a responsibility to make all reasonable efforts to determine the true identity and ownership of client accounts, their source of funds and the nature of their business. This is a global best practice.”

Clients will be asked to update their personal and business information, provide required documentation and to sign and submit a digital client agreement. Details of the process as well as the documentation requirements are posted on the website, the lab stated, clarifying that client service representatives can be approached for further details and clarifications.

GIA assured clients that all information provided will be used solely in relation to their business with GIA and will remain private and confidential in accordance with applicable laws and contracts. It said that Client Agreements are available in several languages and can be previewed online as well.