The State of Israel is a signatory to free trade agreements with many countries in the world. The purpose of these agreements is to make importing and exporting merchandise easier. Intelligently taking advantage of the benefits that result from the various trade agreements helps importers and exporters by reducing their customs fees. It is important to note that not all free trade agreements are equal, nor are their regulations. Therefore, in order to take advantage of these benefits, it is important to check carefully before any importing or exporting, and learn their rules and act accordingly. The regulations in the country where the products are manufactured (Rules of Origin) play a large role in the agreement because they determine which products are eligible for an exemption from customs fees. Therefore it is recommended that exporters check before manufacturing, or during the production process, in order to bring the product into line with the rules of origin, something that will reduce expenses and maximum the company's profits. In order to receive these leniencies, certificates that testify to the products' origins must be presented in the importing country. The agreement with the United States permits their Customs Authority to demand that the exporter provide documented figures that support the claims which appear in the certificate of origin. The regulations state that each product has a unique origin. According to these regulations, for a product to be designated as Israeli, it must be produced in its entirety in Israel, or go through a significant process in Israel that gives the product an added value of at least 35%.
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According to the free trade agreement with the European Union, determining the origin of the goods is established according to the 'customs detail' of the product. Every 'customs detail' has a relevant product 'regulation'. Therefore sometimes one must prove local added value of a certain percentage. The certificate of origin, or 'traffic certificate', is good for four months from the day it is stamped by the customs authorities.
Import - Export
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In order to export jewelry from Israel or import jewelry to Israel, it is unnecessary to acquire an official license from the Ministry of Industry Trade and Labor. However, the importer - exporter must receive a permit from the Customs Authority affirming that he or she is an accredited importer - exporter and a registered business.
Exporting from Israel is a process that requires a great deal of attention on the part of the exporter. Incorrect information on the export forms can cause problems for the goods at customs in Israel and the destination country. In order for the package to arrive safely to its destination one must take care to fill out the export form correctly, as the forms serves as a proof of requesting aid from government agencies and in the case of requests for refunds.
The description of exported jewelry must be thorough and exact and must include the following details:
a) type of jewelry - earring, ring, necklace, bracelet, etc.
b) type of material jewelry is made from - gold, silver, etc.
c) if the jewelry is made from gold, karats must be noted
d) if the jewelry has embedded gems, the type of gems must be noted - diamond, zirconia, etc.
e) weight of the jewelry
f) price of the jewelry
g) if there are a number of piece of jewelry of the same kind, the total number, total weight and total price must be noted
h) at the bottom of the list of goods the total number, weight and value of the jewelry must be noted
i) a photograph of the jewelry must be included
j) the invoice must include the source of the merchandise - Israel
Jewelry can be exported from Israel using courier services, customs packages or with the Israeli post office.
The import of jewelry to Israel must be accompanied by a detailed invoice from the country of origin. The invoice must include a breakdown of the jewelry, the price, the weight, and the carats.
From the moment the merchandise arrives in Israel, they are stored in a safe in the handling area and the process of releasing them begins, involving paying taxes and VAT.
A customs agent represents the importer in dealings with the Customs Authority. He or she is responsible for handing in the list of customs to be paid on behalf of the importer. Therefore he or she must categorize the merchandise according to their taxation rates. Categorization of the goods determines the customs rate and the consumer taxes, if relevant.
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If the jewelry is intended to be sold in Israel, the customs official close the package after examining it and directs the customer to the regulatory institute in order to mark and verify the gold.
In Israel, the regulation pertaining to gold is the #299 gold standard. The law stipulates that every piece of gold weighing more than two grams, whether it was produced in Israel or imported, must go through a process of verifying the purity level of the gold. Products with a purity level of less than 375/1000ths gold - 9 karats - are not considered gold products and therefore need not be indicated as such.
The law determines that every product must contain three signs: the sign of the manufacturer or importer, the sign of the gold's purity (in karats or thousandths), and the sign verifying the purity. The sign verifying the purity is stamped on the jewelry in a laboratory for precious metals at the regulatory institute, and requires payment. The customs official guides the importers through the analysis and marking at the regulatory institute, and at the end of the process the importer is permitted to take the merchandise. One can only receive an exemption from having to mark the jewelry in special cases where the merchandise is imported for the purposes of export, or personal use, or testing the market.
A request for exemption from having to mark the jewelry must be submitted to the Diamond Gem and Jewelry Authority via the customs official. The official request must include a detailed invoice, a detailed letter and a declaration that the goods are not intended to be sold in Israel.
To arrange for verifying and marking jewelry, to check hours of operation and costs, call +972-3-6467774. The laboratory is located on 42 Chaim Levanon Street in Tel Aviv.