Antwerp World Diamond Centre
II - In-house lobbyists and trade/business/professional associations
Trade and business associations
(+32) 03 222 05 11
Mr Ari Epstein
Ms Karla Basselier
Head Public Affairs
AWDC is intended to stimulate, promote, represent the interests and support the diamond trade in Belgium and in the Antwerp region in particular, as well as the promotion of the international aura of Antwerp as a world centre for diamonds and precious stones.
The object of AWDC more specifically comprises:
a) acting as a body representing the interests to the Belgian, foreign and international governments (and non-governmental organizations) as regards the diamond trade and diamond industry situated in Belgium;
b) the promotion of trade and industry through the dissemination of publication material, promotional material, regardless of the media used, statistics, setting-up exhibitions and trade missions, presence at trade shows, all both in Belgium and, to a significant extent, internationally;
c) all administrative help and advice on a social, economic and financial field and in relation to the import and export of all kinds of diamonds and precious stones via “Diamond Office”, as well as the operational support of the “Diamond office”-activities in close cooperation with the Belgian government;
d) the encouragement of scientific and technological research into diamonds and precious stones, as well as coordinating and bring together scientific and technical documentation, both as regards decorative and industrial diamonds and precious stones;
e) the promotion of a healthy social policy as regards the acquisition and training of the workforce, according to the financial needs of the industry;
f) the promotion of sustainability and transparency within the diamond industry, in Antwerp as well as on a global level.
- EU Foreign Affairs / External Relations / Trade Policy
- Kimberley Process
- European Commission initiative on sustainable sourcing of minerals from conflict-affected and high-risk areas
- EU 4th Anti-Money-Laundering Directive
The Public Affairs Department of AWDC has 3 FTE (1 senior manager, 1 officer, 1 management assistant). The activities at the level of the EU are marginal, as the Department operates on many different levels (city, province, region, federal government, European institutions, foreign governments/embassies, international organizations and industry associations ...).
|First name||Surname||Start Date||End Date|
See AWDC Sustainability Report 2014, page 18 (https://www.awdc.be/sites/awdc/files/SustaibabilityReport.pdf)
01/2014 - 12/2014
< 9,999 €
No funding received from the EU institutions during the last closed financial year.
As a private foundation, the AWDC has no members.
The diamond trade is subject to very strict regulations in Belgium. For instance, companies have to be registered with the Ministry (Federal Public Service) of Economy in order to be able to trade diamonds internationally.
The paperwork and certification of all imports and exports of all types of diamonds (rough, polished, powder ...) is done at one single point in Belgium: Diamond Office. This is a department of the AWDC, in which we collaborate with the Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Finances (Customs). Customs clearance is done by the Ministry of Finances. All parcels are subsequently checked by 18 diamond experts, which operate under supervision of the Ministry of Economy. They check the weight, the classification (HS Code) and the value of every parcel (100%), and compare these with the data on the trade documents. The Kimberley Process Certificate, which is mandatory for all shipments of rough diamonds, is verified by the Ministry of Economy. The Ministry also issues the Kimberley Process Certificates for all shipments of rough diamonds that are to be exported to countries outside the EU.
For this service - which benefits the trading companies, increases transparency and to a certain extent prevents the abuse of diamond trade for illegitimate purposes such as money laundering - a handling fee (retribution), based on the value of the shipment, is charged to the diamond companies. This is the only source of revenue (core financing) for the AWDC.
The AWDC sometimes charges a fee for certain specific activities (i.e. participation in trade missions abroad), but these are merely used to cover the expenses of the activities, and are not used as core financing.
By its registration the organisation has signed the Transparency Register Code of Conduct.