On Friday, the Israeli government announced a set of stringent new restrictions, which included limited public gathering to 10 people and the closure of all places of entertainment, includes restaurants, cafes, theaters, cinemas, event halls, clubs and sports arenas. It came short of ordering a full shut down of business activities, and public transport is still running.
On Saturday evening, shortly before the start of the new work week, the Israel Diamond Exchange sent a message via SMS to its membership, explaining how the bourse complex would be running under the new restrictions.
Until further notice, all trading halls will be closed, although if equipment would be required the bourse allow the controlled entry of members for a short period of time.
The IDE management said that all restaurants inside all buildings would remain closed, but depending on the need and demand it would consider the possibility of an office delivery service. The gym would be closed, as would smoking rooms, and the synagogue and Midrash would provide access only up to 10 people for each prayer session. The bourse also recommended that no more than two individuals enter an elevator at the same time.
IDE also said that it would relaxing membership fees in March and April by 5 percent, and the general service charge to offices in the complex by 33 percent.
DIAMOND CONTROLLER RAISES EXPORT CEILINGS
Ophir Gore, Israel’s Diamond Controller, which is the chief government officer responsible for the country’s diamond sector, also announced a series measures designed to assist the local industry navigate its way through the crisis. They will be valid through May 5.
According the Diamond Controller, iinstead of the usual 30 days, dalers can now spend 90 days inspecting polished goods from certain virus-hit countries without paying import duty, including China, Hong Kong, Macau, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore and Italy. This would provide them with more time to decide whether to buy imported that have arrived from overseas, and return those items they do not want, without incurring a 0.1% import levy.
The trading floor of the Israel Diamond Exchange, which has now been closed as a result of the coronavirus epidemic.
Companies that ship rough or polished diamonds to those markets now have a year and three months, rather than one year, to bring them back without incurring an import tax.
The government increased the ceiling imposed on polished diamonds dealers transporting diamonds on their person to the affected countries. From $1 million previously to $1.5 million.
The limit on the value of goods that only go through an inspection procedure at the Diamond Controller’s office has been raised from $200,000 to $700,000.
FIRST ONLINE DIAMOND TRADE FAIR
Given the impact on trade caused by the coronavirus, including the closure of trading floors and reduced traffic in the diamond centers, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) and Israeli Diamond Institute (IDI) have announced are joining forces to host the first ever Online Diamond Trade Show from March 30 to April 4. The “virus-free trade show,” as it has been termed, will take place on the Virtual Diamond Boutique trade platform.
“Due to the coronavirus, several trade fairs and buying opportunities this year have already been cancelled,” stated the AWDC, announcing the event.
To provide support for the Israeli and Belgian diamond sectors, IDI and AWDC are jointly organizing an online diamond trade show.
“This is why AWDC and IDI decided to join forces and organize a unique event that enables you to buy and sell diamonds from the comfort of your own office.”
The goods that will be exhibited are exclusively from recognized Antwerp and Israel traders. While it will not possible not possible for traders from other countries to register as exhibitors, but they are welcome to log in as a buyer.
Exhibiting online will be free of charge for diamond companies registered in Antwerp or Israel. Visiting is free of charge for diamond and jewelry professionals all over the world.