As we approach
a System of Warranties deadline,
a look back and forward

Dear members of the growing WDC family,

Today I come to you with an important message and would like to ask for your support.

I always say that the WDC is the first as well as the last line of defense of the natural diamond industry, while we engage with governments and other stakeholders to protect your interests. And what provides WDC with its special status is its ability to speak as an authoritative voice on behalf of the entire industry. This is because, thanks to you, we are today the most representative body within the diamond supply chain.

And, by the way, we are still growing. Five new members joined us since January. In total, there are now 66 WDC members!

But back to my point. We do not only speak and advocate. We act as well, providing practical tools that complement the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS), and in general promote the maintenance of human rights and responsible and transparent practices in our supply chain. Our main tool is the System of Warranties and we need your help to support it today.

So, allow me to take you down memory lane for the benefit of all, and tell you once again the story of the WDC System of Warranties (SoW).

The assurance that diamonds are from sources in compliance with KPCS

You might remember that in 2002, shortly before the launch of the KPCS, WDC introduced the SoW. It was designed as a self-regulatory system that required B2B buyers and sellers of rough diamonds, polished diamonds and jewelry set with diamonds to include a warranty statement on invoices and memos each time a diamond changed hands. The ultimate aim of the SoW was to assure the next buyer that the goods originated from sources in compliance with the KPCS.

As you all know, on September 21, 2021, we introduced an upgraded SoW, as we believed it was time to build a more robust mechanism of industry self-regulation.

The “revised” SoW now requires adherence with the WDC SoW Guidelines, which in addition to validating KP-compliance, also indicates that the diamonds were handled in accordance with essential responsible business practices related to human and labor rights, anti-money laundering and anti-corruption. In simple terms, that was our way to match expectations of end-consumers that we are working towards retaining and growing their confidence in our beautiful product.

So how does the revised SoW work in practical terms?

Today, the implementation of the revised SoW requires more from you than simply making a declarative statement, even though we revised the original statement as well.

To be able to issue this updated Warranty Statement, your company must register on the dedicated WDC System of Warranties website and complete the online self-assessment with the help of the toolkit we created to support you.

Upon successfully submitting the self-assessment, you are issued a unique identification number that you may add to your memos and invoices.

And it is not only about informing others about yourself. Did you know that, by searching the SoW website database, you may also confirm that your suppliers and clients are also compliant with the SoW, and they in turn can do the same? We believe in transparency.

The end of the three-year grace period for rough diamond sales

One piece of crucial info you might not recall is that when we introduced the upgraded SoW in September 2021, we provided a three-year grace period to convert to the new system for rough diamond sales, and a five-grace period for sales of polished diamonds and diamond jewelry.

We are now less than five months away from the first deadline – the one for rough diamond sales! That is why, you have seen us raising awareness on the matter recently.

We are here to help you transition in the least disruptive way. The SoW Toolkit we created contains a document explaining all the self-assessment’s questions, and providing guidance on how you can comply with the SoW Guidelines. There are also policy templates and even FAQs.

And in the event that it is still not enough, our SoW Coordinator Marianne Riou is here to provide one-on-one support via our helpdesk, if required. I stand ready as well to support any of you meeting challenges you may confront in your transition to the revised SoW.

Also remember, if your company is RJC-certified or compliant with the Best Practices Principles Assurance Program of the De Beers Group, you will be considered de facto compliant, as the provisions of the two industry standards are wider than the SoWs.

SoW providing testament to your responsible practices

“What’s in it for me? What is the big deal with the SoW”? you may ask!

First, transitioning to the revised SoW helps you review your own responsible practices, encouraging you to look at where your company is at when it comes to due diligence, or how you are engaging with commercial partners to build greater trust, sharing more information about the goods that you are trading.

Second, implementation of the SoW pushes you to build capacity for responsible practices, and it sets you on the path of continuous improvement. This is a critical requirement when it comes to CSR and sustainable development.

Third, displaying your unique ID SoW number on your invoices and memos will not only send a clear signal of your compliance to your counterparts; it will also push them to do so as well.

Finally, and not least, because it is a voluntary system, the SoW shows your commitment to a more responsible industry, and to a business community that has been investing in self-regulation for more than 20 years.

The claim that we are not responsible nor regulated is a misconception that we can debunk through our collective effort in rolling out of the revised System of Warranties.

Ultimately, industry-wide adoption of the SoW will benefit us all. And it is here, dear WDC members, that all of you can help as well. We count on you to assist in supporting our campaign and raising awareness, so please share the word around, relay our communications on LinkedIn and other social media, and support the global transition to the revised System of Warranties!

Together, let’s make this transition a success for our industry.


Elodie Daguzan
WDC Executive Director

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