Congress passed the Tom Lantos Block Burmese JADE Act in 2008 prohibiting the import of Burmese-origin jadeite, rubies, and related jewelry and calling for certain international actions. The act also requires GAO to assess the effectiveness of the implementation of this section of the act. This report assesses (1) key characteristics of the trade of Burmese-origin jadeite and rubies; (2) progress agencies have made to restrict imports of Burmese-origin jadeite, rubies, and related jewelry; and (3) the progress agencies have made in pursuing international actions. GAO reviewed and analyzed policy guidance, reports, and trade data and interviewed officials from the Departments of State (State), Homeland Security (DHS), other U.S. agencies, as well as U.S. and foreign jewelry industry representatives and foreign government officials.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Department of Homeland Security||In order to effectively implement the sections of the JADE Act prohibiting the importation of Burmese-origin rubies, jadeite, and related jewelry while allowing imports of non-Burmese-origin goods, DHS, in consultation with relevant agencies, should develop and implement guidance to conduct postentry reviews of importers' records and provide improved guidance to importers on the standards of verifiable evidence needed to certify articles are of non-Burmese origin.|
|Department of State||To enhance the effectiveness of U.S. policy against the military regime in Burma, State should, in consultation with DHS and Treasury, analyze the efficacy, challenges, and difficulties faced in implementing measures to restrict trade in Burmese-origin rubies, jadeite, and related jewelry in the context of the broader U.S. sanctions provisions in the JADE Act, and report to Congress how these measures will contribute to its efforts to influence the military regime in Burma.|