In the wake of a Federal Supreme Court ruling rejecting an NGO’s request to have the Swiss Federal Statistical Office release details about the origin of gold imported into Switzerland as well information on suppliers and volumes traded, the Swiss Association of Manufacturers and Traders in Precious Metals (ASFCMP) underlined its commitment to continuing its efforts to ensure a transparent, sustainable and ethical supply chain. Even though it was not a party to the proceedings, the ASFCMP has clearly said for several years now that gold of dubious origin has no place in Switzerland and that in case of doubt, everyone is duty-bound to do without. Instead of a system where data subject to tax secrecy are publicly disclosed, the ASFCMP has for years been campaigning in favour of strengthening the role of the Precious Metals Control Bureau (BCMP), which oversees the sector in Switzerland, including with respect to traceability and product integrity. “We believe its remit should also include such issues as transparency and compliance with social and environmental standards, which implies strengthening penalties in the event of a breach,” says Christophe Wild, President of the ASFCMP, the association representing the Swiss precious metals industry.
Readers will recall that Switzerland is home to four of the largest bullion-producing gold refineries in the world. The gold processed in these refineries is intended for use in jewellery and watches as well as electronic components, hence the presence at EPHJ.