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Amnesty warns that 'conflict diamonds' evade US Customs controls

[JURIST] Amnesty International has issued a Valentine's Day warning [AI press release] that "conflict diamonds," gems whose sale finances war, terrorism, and human rights abuses, are still being imported into the US due to loopholes in Customs procedures. The 2003 Clean Diamond Trade Act [PDF] prohibits most imports that do not comply with the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme, but Amnesty is petitioning US Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Robert C. Bonner to clarify whether there are periodic random checks of diamond imports and exports. The current Operational Procedures [DOC] for importation of rough diamonds into the US only mandate reviewing and recording the information on the accompanying form, without any requirement to inspect the contents of the sealed diamond container, a process that enables falsely labeled shipments to enter the U.S. The General Accounting Office has a 2002 report [PDF] discussing the issue of conflict diamonds in greater detail.

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