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Assay Tests

Volume 407: debated on Wednesday 18 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what information she has collated on the number of precious metal items failing assay tests in the latest year for which information is available; [1116752](2) whether she has undertaken a regulatory impact assessment of the implementation of Annex III of the draft directive on articles made of precious metal. [116751]

The UK assay offices rejected 66,000 items in 2002. This represents 0.19 per cent. of the 34,000,000 items tested.

The Department has not yet undertaken a Regulatory Impact Assessment on the implementation of Annex III of the draft EU Directive on the marking of precious metals. An RIA will be produced when the Italians formally propose to revive the draft Directive. Officials have discussed the likely impact of Annex III with stakeholders including the Assay Offices, Trading Standards, manufacturers and retailers. The Government do not support the Directive.