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British Hallmarking Council

Volume 592: debated on Tuesday 10 February 2015

Commencement of the triennial review of the British Hallmarking Council (BHC) was announced in Parliament through a written ministerial statement on 9 October 2013 and I am now pleased to announce the completion of the review.

The British Hallmarking Council is a non-departmental public body set up by the Hallmarking Act 1973. With an independent chairman and secretary, its 19 members represent a broad range of interests covering the trade, consumer interest, and the four UK Assay Offices: London, Birmingham, Sheffield, and Edinburgh. The Assay Offices were set up either by statute or charter and are non-profit making organisations that recover their operating costs through hallmarking fees and assay-related services.

The review concludes that the functions performed by the British Hallmarking Council are still required and that it should be retained as an NDPB. The review also examined the governance arrangements for the British Hallmarking Council. The review concluded that the council operates in line with the principles of guidance on good corporate governance set out by the Cabinet Office, but identified opportunities to improve its functions, which were reflected in the stage 2 recommendations.

The full report of the review of the British Hallmarking Council can be found online at: and copies have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.