Precious Minerals Trading

The Directorate of Precious Minerals Trading (PMT) is primarily responsible for ensuring Kimberley Process compliance, export all precious minerals that come from the mines and support NRA by collecting corporate tax in advance.

It is also charged with the responsibility for monitoring and intelligence gathering in a bid to stop conflict diamonds passing through the legitimate channel, illicit trading, smuggling and cyber fraud. This must be done in collaboration with relevant law enforcement agencies.

The PMT is also compelled to ensure all monies for diamond and gold transactions are remitted through one of the local commercial banks and export taxes are paid into the Central Bank. Export tax for diamond is paid in United States Dollars and for gold in the local currency.

It is also within their mandate to monitor international price for precious minerals, improve on valuation techniques in order to enhance export tax.

Staff of PMT

REQUIREMENT FOR EXPORTERS

APPLICATION:

1. Application for the grant of a prescribed exporter’s license shall be submitted in the prescribed application form

2. An applicant may be an individual of any nationality or a registered company

3. Application shall be approved by the Minister of Mineral Resources on the recommendation of the Director of Mines

LICENSE:

1. An Exporter’s license shall be issued by the Minister of Mineral Resources on the payments (for gold or diamond) as prescribed in the First Schedule of the Mines and Minerals Act 2009.

2. A diamond or gold exporter’s license shall be issued for one year. Half yearly licenses shall be issued.

3. A fee of one thousand, five hundred USD (1500usd) per replacement cost of printing of Kimberley Process Certificates (KPCS) shall be paid on the issue of diamond exporter’s license.

4. An Exporter shall contribute to a rehabilitation fund at the rate 0.05% of the value of each precious minerals export.

EXPORT CHARGES:

1. 3% export duty shall be paid on diamonds valued.

2. An advance corporate tax of 0.3% is levied on total export of diamonds. This is collected by PMT and paid to National Revenue Authority.

3. Export duty shall be levied at the rate of 5% of total value on gold (purity %).

BUYING AGENTS:

1. Each exporter shall be allowed to employ buying agents who shall be approved by the Director of Mines and issued with the prescribed exporter’s agent certificate. Not more than five buying agents’ certificates may be issued under one exporter’s license.

2. The first two agents certified shall be issued free, but the rest will be issued according to the prescribed fee in the Mines and Minerals Act 2009.

PURCHASE OF PRECIOUS MINERALS:

1. Exporters shall be allowed to open foreign currency accounts in accredited commercial banks in Sierra Leone to finance their operations and to dispose of funds freely but shall be required to show evidence of importation of all foreign currency inflows, before exporting any precious minerals.

2. Each exporter shall be required to keep a record of purchases and exports of precious minerals acquired and to issue a numbered invoice/receipt for each purchase transaction.

TRANSPARENCY:
1. Diamond and gold exporters must pay the stipulated duties and charges; thereafter the parcel of goods is sealed at the Precious Minerals Trading Directorate in the presence of National Revenue Authority (Custom Officer), and the Government Mines Monitor. Thereafter a Kimberley Process Certificate is issued for diamond and a certificate is also issued for gold. After all this process, an exporter is free to leave Sierra Leone without further harassment or the parcel being opened again at the International Airport.

2. An Exporter has no obligation to surrender his goods to security personnel except to an authorized officer as defined in the Mines and Minerals Act 2009. The licensed dealer and exporter will however produce his license if and when required by security personnel for inspection only to ascertain the legality of his dealing or export activity.

PROCEDURES FOR DIAMOND EXPORTERS:

1. Must hold a legitimate export license as specified by the Mines and Minerals Act 2009

2. Must give Precious Minerals Trading Directorate twenty four hours notice to prepare for valuation and export documentation

3. Goods must be presented according to classifications as provided in export document “schedule B”. This document could be collected at the Precious Minerals Trading Directorate at the Bank of Sierra Leone building, 2nd floor, Siaka Stevens Street, Freetown.

4. The exporter is expected to declare the value of his/her goods in the stipulated schedule ‘B’.

5. Goods must be accompanied by either the exporter himself/herself or a nominee who is a holder of a processing agent certificate.

6. Diamond export must be exported to countries that are members of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS).

7. Diamonds imported into Sierra Leone must be accompanied by Kimberley Process Certificate from the exporting country.

8. Diamond exporters must note that the highest of the three valuations (i.e. The exporter’s ‘value, the Government Diamond Valuer’s value and the Independent diamond valuer’s value) is the value that determines the three percent export duty payable to Government. Payment is effected at the Bank of Sierra Leone by the Exporter.

9. Diamond exporters must note that valuation is done in the presence of the licensed exporter or his/her processing agent, a Senior Mines Monitoring Officer and a Senior Customs Officer from the National Revenue Authority.

10. Diamond Exporters wishing to export goods to destinations out of the EU are required to route the shipment through the six designated countries which are Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Germany, Romania and the UK. (Ref for addresses contacts the Precious Minerals Trading Directorate).

11. Diamond Exporters wishing to export to EU countries must show evidence e. g flight itinerary.

12. After valuation, the goods are put into packets as directed by the exporter and placed in a box which is then wrapped and sealed.

13. A Kimberley Process certificate with serial number is then issued showing details of the valuation. The certificate is signed by the following: The Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources, The Government Diamond Valuer and the Commissioner-General of National Revenue Authority (Senior Customs Officer).

14. Digital photographs of sealed parcel and attached KPCS certificate are taken and kept in the PMTD records for verification purposes.

15. The diamond parcel which is sealed with KP Certificate photocopies of “Schedule B” and payment receipts are all handed over to the exporter or his processing agent with the completed sealed, customs declaration forms which will be surrendered to the Senior Customs Officer at the International Airport. The information stated in the sealed customs declaration form is opened by the Customs Officer at the Airport to cross check the information on the transparent KP Certificate and the photocopy “Schedule B”.

16. The validity of the KP certificate is one month after issue.

17. Photocopies of other export documents are given to the exporter to keep some for himself or herself and distribute some to the relevant security and monitoring agencies at the international airport.

18. All precious minerals ready for export must go through the internationally airport only.

PROCEDURES FOR DIAMOND VALUATION:

1. All exporters are required to make a 24 hour appointment at the PMT before export commences.

2. Valuation starts by receiving the rough diamonds from a licensed exporter. The goods are then weighed in order to confirm the weight brought in by the exporter.

3. The goods are then sized according to the prescribed sizes on the schedule B.The different sizes of diamond are shared among the valuers for sorting and valuation process. At the same time, the consultant from the diamond counsellor international (DCI) also sorts and values the diamonds which serves as counter valuation check for transparency purpose. The weight of each size is entered into the valuation worksheet and signed by the exporter.

4. After completion of valuation by the PMT officials, DCI (Diamond counsellor international and the declared value from the exporter, the prices are then computerised by the valuer. The highest of the three Prices is indicated as the final value on the schedule B and Kimberley certificate and analysis sheet.

5. The rough diamonds are then reweighed by a valuer in the presence of the exporter and Mines Monitoring Officer and put into a wooden box. The signatories of the Director/Manager, Mines Monitoring Officer, and Customs Officer are indicated on the wrapped box. The consignee address, random number, parcel number, parcel code, weight and dimension of the box are also indicated on the wooden box by a valuer.

6. Before preparing the Kimberley certificate, the exporter produces the inflow (bank statement) as part of the supporting document for the eventual signing of the Kimberley certificate.

7. The inflow from the exporter is used to prepare the declaration form. The valuation price of the goods is subtracted from the total amount of money in foreign currency deposited by a licensed exporter. The inflow should cover the total value of the goods brought in by the exporter for valuation.

8. The exporter uses a copy of the schedule B sheet to pay the 3.03 % export duty to the central bank. The Exporter comes with the paid slip to the Trading and Auditing department and a PMT receipt is prepared.

9. The following documents below are then taken to the National Minerals Agency for vetting and then to the ministry of mines for signatories:

  • a perusal form
  • a valid diamond export license
  • a signed Kimberley certificate
  • a schedule B (input of final valuation price) and a copy
  • a comparative valuation analysis sheet and a copy
  • declaration form where valuation prices are balanced with inflow(bank statement)
  • an inflow or bank statement from any commercial bank
  • a receipt of the export duty paid i.e. 3.03%

10. A photocopy of the Kimberley Certificate is attached to the above and sent to the Directorate of Mines, National Minerals Agency for vetting

11. The signed certificates from the NMA/Mines are then brought back to the office. The Kimberley certificate is sealed in a polythene bag with wooden box. Snapshots of the Kimberley certificate are not allowed by exporter.

12. Copies of the Kimberley certificate and schedule B are handed over to the exporter together with the sealed certificate and box. The photocopies are to be deposited to the respective authorities at the lungi international airport. Copies of the Kimberley certificate and schedule B are kept in the PMT for record purpose.

13. On completion of the valuation process the manager of trading and auditing department collect useful information from the exporter including address of exporter in Sierra Leone, valid inflow and date of departure from Sierra Leone. This date is liable to confirmation from the customs in Lungi where copies of the Kimberley certificates should be deposited for legal export of diamonds from Sierra Leone. This information collected from exporter also helps in preventing forgery of the Kimberley certificate given to them. The Kimberley certificate certifies the legality of diamonds exported out of the country.

PROCEDURES FOR GOLD EXPORTERS:

1. Must hold a legitimate gold export license

2. Must give the PMTD twenty four hours notice for valuation to kick- start

3. Must show bank statement or inflow as evidence of source of money

4. Inflow or Bank statement should commensurate with export value

5. Thereafter, gold is tendered for assaying or valuation in the presence of the exporter, the Mines Monitoring Officer and the National Revenue Authority (Customs Officer).

6. Gold is then analysed to certify purity% in the presence of the Senior Mines Monitors, the Exporter and Customs Officer, National Revenue Authority

7. After the analysis, gold is then re-weighed to cross check.

8. Gold is then packaged and sealed in the presence of all

9. After the analysis a certificate is issued showing weight, purity%, name of license and license no, value of gold in Leones and USD and 3% export duty is levied as prescribed in the Mines and Minerals act 2009.

10. The certificate is signed by the Director of PMTD or Manager and Senior Valuer, the Minister of Mines and Mineral resources or his/her Deputy.

11. Three copies of the gold certificate are made available for officials at the International Airport.

12. Validity of certificate is a month after issue

PROCEDURE FOR GOLD EXPORT

1. A 24hr notice must be sent to the Manager or Director of PMT

2. On arrival, the gold assayer verifies gold export license and Bank statement

3. Gold export could either be in the form of dust or bars

4. An acidic test could be done if necessary to test for fake gold. Nitric Acid is used.

5. Gold weight is taken by the Gold Consultant or one of the Assayers in the presence of the exporter, the Mines Monitoring Officer and Customs Officer

6. The gold weight is entered into a ledger and the exporter signs as a form of confirmation

7. Calculation is computed using the specific gravity-(SG) method.

8. The London gold fix is applied to arrive at the final value

9. The 3% export duty levied on total value to generate the export tax

10. The gold is re-weighed in the presence of the Exporter, the Mines Monitoring Officer and Customs Officer.

11. Immediately after the re- weighing a photograph of the gold is taken for record purposes.

12. Immediately after the assaying, the exporter is mandated to pay the export tax

13. Having satisfied all parties , the gold is put in a wooden box, wrapped and signed by the Mines Monitoring officer, Customs Officer and the Director or Manager of PMT.

14. An internal gold certificate is prepared which is signed by the Director or Manager PMT

15. The documents are then forwarded to the Directorate of Mines (NMA) for vetting

16. Final signature for this gold certificate is the Minister of Mines and Minerals Resources or his designated representative.

17. The final signed gold certificate is handed over to the exporter with three copies to be distributed to the Mines Monitoring Office, Office of National Security and Customs Department at the airport.

18. After all of this, the box of gold and a copy of the gold certificates are handed over to the gold exporter to be exported through the Freetown International Airport.