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View Full Version : Wow, So stuff made in the far east can be assayed there with UK hallmarks?



medusa
07-08-2013, 03:40 PM
I was chatting with my casters the other day and they were saying that the Birmingham assay office is opening an office in the far east. I don't know how much stuff which is made and then assayed in the far east by european assay offices is sold in the UK, but I can't imagine it's that much, surely?

Makes you wonder what is the point of maintaining the assay system if it can be diluted like this.

Goldsmith
07-08-2013, 04:29 PM
There has been an Assay Office at Heathrow for the past 5 years, Liz. I did read this article that said they had Assayed and marked nearly 5 million imported items so far in this 5 year term. See;http://www.jewelleryfocus.co.uk/index.php/news/trade-organisations/936-the-goldsmiths-company-assay-office-marks-heathrow-anniversary.html

James

medusa
07-08-2013, 05:00 PM
not quite the same as stuff being assayed in China with a Birmingham hallmark though, is it?

Tabby66
07-08-2013, 11:19 PM
not quite the same as stuff being assayed in China with a Birmingham hallmark though, is it?

I'd heard a new 'British' assay office had opened in China, but that it wasn't being widely publicised!! Is that right Liz, they are marking with the Birmingham Anchor??.......as if Birmingham assayed piece??........nothing to differentiate??

Sadly shocked by this detail.

trialuser
08-08-2013, 12:42 AM
Am I being thick here?
I thought the assay mark was a mark of assay, not a made in UK mark.
If it meets the required assay then it can be marked to protect and reassure the buyer.
If a UK office wants to do it then surely we should be reassured that the process was carried out legitimately and the import safe to buy.
It doesn't really matter if it was made by a Chinaman or a Scotswoman does it.
It would be interesting to know what the charges were though - I bet they are lower than for work submitted in the UK.

The question of possible cheap Chinese imported stuff damaging the UK makers market is another matter though.
Do you think it would affect the market that many on here aim for if the imports were UK hallmarked?
I reckon people are a bit snobby when it comes to jewellery and either buy it because it was made by so and so, or hand crafted in a studio in cuteshire - obviously they have to like it as well.
I was thinking of trying to sell a few bits I made to people at work for basically the materials cost to cover the bullion while I try and improve. When I did a bit of market research (asking about 20 or 30 women at work), whether they would attribute any extra perceived worth if a hallmark was present, not one would. Most did not know it was a legal requirement over a certain weight. Granted this was mostly 22 - 35 year olds and the very cheapest end of the market.

pearlescence
08-08-2013, 10:30 AM
Isn't a hallmark a mark that shows a piece was presented for assay in a certain year. at a certain assay office by a specific person and was assayed to be of a certain standard. It isn't a maker's mark, it's a sponsor's mark, for eg.
One good thing about brum/china assay is that you can be sure no nickel regs breach

medusa
08-08-2013, 02:21 PM
I'd heard a new 'British' assay office had opened in China, but that it wasn't being widely publicised!! Is that right Liz, they are marking with the Birmingham Anchor??.......as if Birmingham assayed piece??........nothing to differentiate??

Sadly shocked by this detail.

I'm repeating what my Caster said and he knows a lot of people at BAO.


Am I being thick here?
I thought the assay mark was a mark of assay, not a made in UK mark.
If it meets the required assay then it can be marked to protect and reassure the buyer.
If a UK office wants to do it then surely we should be reassured that the process was carried out legitimately and the import safe to buy.
It doesn't really matter if it was made by a Chinaman or a Scotswoman does it.
It would be interesting to know what the charges were though - I bet they are lower than for work submitted in the UK.

The question of possible cheap Chinese imported stuff damaging the UK makers market is another matter though.
Do you think it would affect the market that many on here aim for if the imports were UK hallmarked?
I reckon people are a bit snobby when it comes to jewellery and either buy it because it was made by so and so, or hand crafted in a studio in cuteshire - obviously they have to like it as well.
I was thinking of trying to sell a few bits I made to people at work for basically the materials cost to cover the bullion while I try and improve. When I did a bit of market research (asking about 20 or 30 women at work), whether they would attribute any extra perceived worth if a hallmark was present, not one would. Most did not know it was a legal requirement over a certain weight. Granted this was mostly 22 - 35 year olds and the very cheapest end of the market.

It is a mark of assay, and anything made abroad can be presented to an assay office for hallmarking in the UK. My concern (and from the impact assessment, the assay offices were also concerned about this) is that standards might not be so rigorous outside of the UK. I'm also concerned that it will result in job losses.

I think lots of people have little interest in the hallmarking of jewellery. I do it on my lighter-weight repro pieces just to ensure they aren't passed off as antique. For the same reason I won't buy antique stuff myself unless it has been hallmarked. Maybe there needs to be more public education?

The rationale for opening in the far east is that it allows the UK to compete with other EU states who operate in the far east. There must be a shedload of EU/convention stuff assayed at their far east offices and being imported into the UK to make it worthwhile doing. I really hope it's not just being done because it's simply cheaper for the assay offices.



One good thing about brum/china assay is that you can be sure no nickel regs breach
I think the legislation prevents nickel jewellery in any form now, doesn't it? Not just stuff made from precious metals?

pearlescence
09-08-2013, 07:43 AM
Yes, it does. It always did. You have to be careful though because there is no such law in the USA so some far east or indian makers could still use nickel. For eg, USA made vermeil often has a layer of nickel between the silver and the gold.
Easy for a small total buyer to fall foul of the regs when looking at the USA findings companies without checking up on each item.

SteveLAO
09-08-2013, 09:25 AM
It is recent legislation that allows assay offices to mark in overseas offsites. The offices should be under the control of whichever assay office set it up, and there are different assay office marks for items marked overseas so that you can tell the difference. For example, at London, items marked in the UK regardless of where they were made, has the leopard's head town mark for London. If we were to set up an overseas office, then the leopard's head mark will be replaced by a portcullis mark to indicate overseas marked items under the control of the London office.
I must stress that UK assay offices are not just going to hand out licences to hallmark to locals in whatever country the offsite will be set up. These offiste offices must be rigorously controlled and monitored by the hosting office to ensure exactly the same quality of testing and marking.
Our heathrow office meets items coming in from abroad and marks them at the airport, so we have no immediate plans to go offshore, but this came about as the Dutch assay office, whose marks we recognise in the UK, are able to set up anywhere in the world, and it was felt that this was unfair as up until this recent law change, UK offices were not allowed to compete by marking offshore too, and I understand one or two big accounts in the UK were lost to the Dutch as a result.
Naturally UK offices are concerned that if lots of items do get marked at source this will impact on jobs in the UK, but on the other hand if we aren't given the opportunity then forign offices whose marks are recognised in the UK will be doing this anyway.
I've asked my boss if I can do a fact finding mission for a possible assay office in Hawaii, the Seychelles, Barbados and Fiji, but I've not heard anything back so far...funny eh??

SteveLAO
09-08-2013, 09:48 AM
trialuser & medusa.....interesting your mini survey - we did a bigger version of the same survey and found quite the reverse, that a hallmarked item was indeed seen to be more valuable than an unhallmarked one - especially as the unhallmarked one can only be sold as "white coloured metal" in order to comply with the hallmarking act. (subject to weight etc of course!)
You're right though that it is an uphill struggle to educate the "public" concerning hallmarking but we do have regular seminars in London to tell people all about it, and also impress on retailers that they MUST by law have their dealer's notice clearly on view. We also encourage retailers to tell their customers about the hallmark and what it means, and of course the fact that your sponsor mark is stamped on the item as a bit of everlasting advertising for your company!!
It is, after all, the oldest form of independent consumer protection in the UK :)

SteveLAO
09-08-2013, 09:52 AM
pearlescence, yes you're right, and we do nickel testing not just for jewellery that needs to be hallmarked. We are also now offering testing for lead and cadmium after the recent legislation concerning these metals as well.

pearlescence
09-08-2013, 03:49 PM
New rules for lead and cadmium?????

SteveLAO
09-08-2013, 04:06 PM
Yes, there is a new European wide requirement for the content of lead and cadmium in jewellery, both metals of course being poisonous.
Lead and Cadmium in jewellery items is an increasing concern due to the harmful effects that these toxic elements can have. In the EU, Cadmium is already restricted by the REACH regulations and Lead will be included from October 2013.

Cadmium and Cadmium Oxide are very toxic and known carcinogens. The fact that Cadmium is used in the jewellery industry as an alloying constituent and in solders means it poses a significant health risk. Therefore, from December 2011, EU REACH Directive 494/2011 came in to effect to restrict Cadmium content in jewellery to 0.01% by weight of metal. This applies to all component parts of precious metal jewellery, fashion jewellery and non-metallic materials. In addition, Cadmium in paints is restricted to 0.1% by weight. The exceptions are jewellery items that are proven to be >50 years old or placed on the market before January 2012.

Lead and its compounds are also toxic at low levels of exposure, so Lead will therefore be subject to EU REACH Directive 836/2012 from October 2013. Lead and its compounds must not be present in jewellery articles in quantities >0.05% by weight. Non-metallic component parts are also included but crystal glass, precious and semi-precious stones are not unless they are treated with Lead compounds.

As the requirements of the REACH Directive only permit very low levels of Lead and Cadmium, Assay Office London can carry out the test for both elements simultaneously using the ICP-OES technique ( Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectroscopy ) to provide an accurate content result.

Anna Wales
09-08-2013, 05:39 PM
Can you give us some more details about the tests, Steve. Costs etc. All my jewellery is made using wire/sheet/findings/solder from Cooksons. I hope I'm right in assuming that they're within the EU rules. I'll also check with my casting firm.

Tabby66
09-08-2013, 10:40 PM
It is a mark of assay, and anything made abroad can be presented to an assay office for hallmarking in the UK. My concern (and from the impact assessment, the assay offices were also concerned about this) is that standards might not be so rigorous outside of the UK. I'm also concerned that it will result in job losses.

I think lots of people have little interest in the hallmarking of jewellery. I do it on my lighter-weight repro pieces just to ensure they aren't passed off as antique. For the same reason I won't buy antique stuff myself unless it has been hallmarked. Maybe there needs to be more public education?

The rationale for opening in the far east is that it allows the UK to compete with other EU states who operate in the far east. There must be a shedload of EU/convention stuff assayed at their far east offices and being imported into the UK to make it worthwhile doing. I really hope it's not just being done because it's simply cheaper for the assay offices.

I guess my point was that it is fine (if you are going to compete as you say on a level playing field), but why give it a Birmingham hallmark,.......why not a British standard hallmark but with a new symbol for China.....ie...not the anchor.............that belongs to Birmingham and if it can be hallmarked elsewhere with the anchor, then surely it no longer represents a Birmingham hallmark?!

Am I being precious??!!

Dennis
10-08-2013, 03:24 AM
As I see it, the hallmark gives a degree of consumer protection in that it certifies an alloy from which the jewellery is made is what the seller claims it to be:18ct gold, 925 silver, or whatever. It does not certify provenance, or quality of workmanship.

So if the Birmingham assay office is willing to stake its reputation in hallmarking the work, whats wrong with that, folks?

pearlescence
10-08-2013, 08:16 AM
Exactlyl so. The items do not have to come from Birmingham or been made in Birmingham, but have to have satisfied the assay conducted by the Brum Assay Office which them puts on its mark. Brum office has simply been a bit entrepreneurial. Wonder when one will set up in the USA? They are in dire need of decent consumer protection - nickel still legal!

Anne Wales - since the various metal content rules are legal requirements it is extremely unlikely that Cookson's will risk prosecution and ignomy by selling precious metals which would fail assay.

Patstone
10-08-2013, 02:10 PM
My only concern with this is that both the labour rate and the metals are cheaper in china, and so are the stones (I know a chinese girl student studying at Exeter University, and we have had this discussion) they will be able to import silver jewellery into England a lot cheaper than we can buy the metal let alone add labour etc. Where does that leave people that have to make a living from making jewellery in this country. Why would anyone want to buy a silver or gold ring (hallmarked, so you know it is real) imported into England for 5 when you can pay 150 for the same thing made in this country!!!!! Sarcasm is bad, but you get my jist.

medusa
10-08-2013, 02:53 PM
It is recent legislation that allows assay offices to mark in overseas offsites. The offices should be under the control of whichever assay office set it up, and there are different assay office marks for items marked overseas so that you can tell the difference. For example, at London, items marked in the UK regardless of where they were made, has the leopard's head town mark for London. If we were to set up an overseas office, then the leopard's head mark will be replaced by a portcullis mark to indicate overseas marked items under the control of the London office.
I must stress that UK assay offices are not just going to hand out licences to hallmark to locals in whatever country the offsite will be set up. These offiste offices must be rigorously controlled and monitored by the hosting office to ensure exactly the same quality of testing and marking.
Our heathrow office meets items coming in from abroad and marks them at the airport, so we have no immediate plans to go offshore, but this came about as the Dutch assay office, whose marks we recognise in the UK, are able to set up anywhere in the world, and it was felt that this was unfair as up until this recent law change, UK offices were not allowed to compete by marking offshore too, and I understand one or two big accounts in the UK were lost to the Dutch as a result.
Naturally UK offices are concerned that if lots of items do get marked at source this will impact on jobs in the UK, but on the other hand if we aren't given the opportunity then forign offices whose marks are recognised in the UK will be doing this anyway.
I've asked my boss if I can do a fact finding mission for a possible assay office in Hawaii, the Seychelles, Barbados and Fiji, but I've not heard anything back so far...funny eh??
Hi Steve,
It's reassuring to know that consumers will be able to tell the difference between overseas marked items and home marked ones. It's also possible that during a long conversation I've conflated BAO with assay offices generally particularly as a result of the discussion about resulting job losses at BAO. I'll check with them when I ring up next week. If I have done that, apologies for causing a panic!

I'm still not entirely convinced about the quality control aspect. If they can't maintain enough control over quality to not poison their own babies, I'm not hopeful about something rather less life-threatening like assay standards.

If assaying is carried out abroad make it more cost effective, couldn't the UK assay offices just reduce the charges for high volume producers? It's only being hallmarked by Dutch offices abroad so it can be sold in the EU, and so coming to europe anyway. That way jobs and offices could be saved.



I guess my point was that it is fine (if you are going to compete as you say on a level playing field), but why give it a Birmingham hallmark,.......why not a British standard hallmark but with a new symbol for China.....ie...not the anchor.............that belongs to Birmingham and if it can be hallmarked elsewhere with the anchor, then surely it no longer represents a Birmingham hallmark?!

Am I being precious??!!
Steve said that it would be a different mark, but yeah, that was my concern when I first heard it.


My only concern with this is that both the labour rate and the metals are cheaper in china, and so are the stones (I know a chinese girl student studying at Exeter University, and we have had this discussion) they will be able to import silver jewellery into England a lot cheaper than we can buy the metal let alone add labour etc. Where does that leave people that have to make a living from making jewellery in this country. Why would anyone want to buy a silver or gold ring (hallmarked, so you know it is real) imported into England for 5 when you can pay 150 for the same thing made in this country!!!!! Sarcasm is bad, but you get my jist.

I would think that the only stuff that would be sent for hallmarking would be over-weight stuff and high value artisan-made items? Thinking about it though, I know someone who got a whole load of stuff made cheaply in Thailand all stamped 'sterling', and trading standards made them get it assayed (using a laser because it had been resin enamelled) even though it was underweight. are the rules different for stuff made of silver made abroad that is under 7.7 grams?

medusa
10-08-2013, 02:55 PM
trialuser & medusa.....interesting your mini survey - we did a bigger version of the same survey and found quite the reverse, that a hallmarked item was indeed seen to be more valuable than an unhallmarked one - especially as the unhallmarked one can only be sold as "white coloured metal" in order to comply with the hallmarking act. (subject to weight etc of course!)
You're right though that it is an uphill struggle to educate the "public" concerning hallmarking but we do have regular seminars in London to tell people all about it, and also impress on retailers that they MUST by law have their dealer's notice clearly on view. We also encourage retailers to tell their customers about the hallmark and what it means, and of course the fact that your sponsor mark is stamped on the item as a bit of everlasting advertising for your company!!
It is, after all, the oldest form of independent consumer protection in the UK :)

well most of the people who buy from me are outside the EU and they really don't care and often get impatient when I tell them they need to wait a week longer so I can get the thing hallmarked.

I love my hallmark and as I've said before, I love it so much I got it tattooed on myself.

Tabby66
10-08-2013, 11:27 PM
Tried to type message this morning, but laptop threw a hissy and wiped my reply!!


As I see it, the hallmark gives a degree of consumer protection in that it certifies an alloy from which the jewellery is made is what the seller claims it to be:18ct gold, 925 silver, or whatever. It does not certify provenance, or quality of workmanship.

I agree Dennis, the hallmark gives a degree of consumer protection AND reassurance/confidence, and is to certify the metal the item is made from. It most certainly does NOT infer workmanship, but I would argue that there is an element of provinence......e.g. British.


So if the Birmingham assay office is willing to stake its reputation in hallmarking the work, whats wrong with that, folks?

But that's my point really, surely by staking their reputation, they are also staking mine (since that is where I am registered...........AND YES(!!), I am being precious here!! I have no problem with British standard being certified anywhere in the world, but surely a country of origin or 'outside UK' mark would be clearer?!

I'm not sure how airport assay offices work, but I understand Heathrow at least marks imported items??
I think SteveLAO may have answered this point :)

pearlescence
11-08-2013, 07:46 AM
Will tghe foreign origin not be signified by the particular sponsor's mark?

Wren
11-08-2013, 09:25 AM
It is recent legislation that allows assay offices to mark in overseas offsites. The offices should be under the control of whichever assay office set it up, and there are different assay office marks for items marked overseas so that you can tell the difference. For example, at London, items marked in the UK regardless of where they were made, has the leopard's head town mark for London. If we were to set up an overseas office, then the leopard's head mark will be replaced by a portcullis mark to indicate overseas marked items under the control of the London office.
I must stress that UK assay offices are not just going to hand out licences to hallmark to locals in whatever country the offsite will be set up. These offiste offices must be rigorously controlled and monitored by the hosting office to ensure exactly the same quality of testing and marking.
Our heathrow office meets items coming in from abroad and marks them at the airport, so we have no immediate plans to go offshore, but this came about as the Dutch assay office, whose marks we recognise in the UK, are able to set up anywhere in the world, and it was felt that this was unfair as up until this recent law change, UK offices were not allowed to compete by marking offshore too, and I understand one or two big accounts in the UK were lost to the Dutch as a result.
Naturally UK offices are concerned that if lots of items do get marked at source this will impact on jobs in the UK, but on the other hand if we aren't given the opportunity then forign offices whose marks are recognised in the UK will be doing this anyway.
I've asked my boss if I can do a fact finding mission for a possible assay office in Hawaii, the Seychelles, Barbados and Fiji, but I've not heard anything back so far...funny eh??

If the discussion was about the LAO going to China the leopard head mark would change to a portcullis to indicate that the items are foreign, skimming down this thread I might have missed that the BAO intend to stamp something different to the anchor, so maybe they are do we know?, so with a foreign sponser mark too anyone giving these items more than a passing glance would see that they were not made here.

medusa
11-08-2013, 01:17 PM
Exactlyl so. The items do not have to come from Birmingham or been made in Birmingham, but have to have satisfied the assay conducted by the Brum Assay Office which them puts on its mark. Brum office has simply been a bit entrepreneurial. Wonder when one will set up in the USA? They are in dire need of decent consumer protection - nickel still legal!

I don't think nickel is actually illegal in UK/EU alloys is it? It just needs to be below a certain level in order to avoid sensitising people. Cookies sells a white 18 ct gold casting grain which it says isn't compliant for piercing post assemblies, which maybe indicates it has some nickel in it? Cookies also sell nickel plated bead caps as well.



If the discussion was about the LAO going to China the leopard head mark would change to a portcullis to indicate that the items are foreign, skimming down this thread I might have missed that the BAO intend to stamp something different to the anchor, so maybe they are do we know?, so with a foreign sponser mark too anyone giving these items more than a passing glance would see that they were not made here.

Just to reiterate, I might have conflated BAO with British Assay Office.

pearlescence
12-08-2013, 08:20 AM
The nickel regs are very technical and require below so many parts per million or something in that sort of term. It is just easier and quicker to talk about nickel free or cadmium free or lead free (from october I think it is) but a trace of nickel is permitted if you want to be pedantic. I'm surprised that nickel plating, where the metal would be in contact with the skin, is permitted but I am sure that Cooksons knows its regulations.
(it's not just jewellery of course, it's anything with poss contact with skin, so zips. bra wires,. buckles, poppers...)

Rob Taylor
12-08-2013, 03:44 PM
Can you give us some more details about the tests, Steve. Costs etc. All my jewellery is made using wire/sheet/findings/solder from Cooksons. I hope I'm right in assuming that they're within the EU rules. I'll also check with my casting firm.

Hi, I can confirm no Lead or Cadmium is added to any of our bullion products during manufacture

rgds, Rob

Rob Taylor
12-08-2013, 03:55 PM
[QUOTE=medusa;58129]I don't think nickel is actually illegal in UK/EU alloys is it? It just needs to be below a certain level in order to avoid sensitising people. Cookies sells a white 18 ct gold casting grain which it says isn't compliant for piercing post assemblies, which maybe indicates it has some nickel in it? Cookies also sell nickel plated bead caps as well.

For clarification Cooksongold sell products that contain Nickel, 18ct WNC (White Nickel Containing) they are in solder, pinwire and grain forms. They are all marked not being suitable for pierced products or for sale within the EC. We do also sell nickel plated bead caps these meet the latest EC compliance requirements

Rob

Anna Wales
12-08-2013, 04:57 PM
Hi, I can confirm no Lead or Cadmium is added to any of our bullion products during manufacture

rgds, Rob

Thanks Rob.
Anna

SteveLAO
14-08-2013, 09:25 AM
I guess my point was that it is fine (if you are going to compete as you say on a level playing field), but why give it a Birmingham hallmark,.......why not a British standard hallmark but with a new symbol for China.....ie...not the anchor.............that belongs to Birmingham and if it can be hallmarked elsewhere with the anchor, then surely it no longer represents a Birmingham hallmark?!

Am I being precious??!!

Tabby, all offshore items won't be marked exclusively with an anchor, it will depend under which uk assay office the offsite will operate. For example, if the offiste is under London's control then goods will be marked with the London offshore mark (not the leopard's head) which is a portcullis

SteveLAO
14-08-2013, 09:36 AM
Hi Steve,

I'm still not entirely convinced about the quality control aspect. If they can't maintain enough control over quality to not poison their own babies, I'm not hopeful about something rather less life-threatening like assay standards.

If assaying is carried out abroad make it more cost effective, couldn't the UK assay offices just reduce the charges for high volume producers? It's only being hallmarked by Dutch offices abroad so it can be sold in the EU, and so coming to europe anyway. That way jobs and offices could be saved.


I would think that the only stuff that would be sent for hallmarking would be over-weight stuff and high value artisan-made items? Thinking about it though, I know someone who got a whole load of stuff made cheaply in Thailand all stamped 'sterling', and trading standards made them get it assayed (using a laser because it had been resin enamelled) even though it was underweight. are the rules different for stuff made of silver made abroad that is under 7.7 grams?

It would be the responsibility of the uk office running the offshore office to ensure the strictest quality control and you can be sure that they would take every step to ensure that standard is upheld. It's their entire reputation on the line after all!

we are talking such a huge difference in costings between China and UK that there is no way Uk offices could possibly compete. This is why this whole situation has arisen, as it is clearly more cost effective to set up and staff an assay office half way round the world, than reduce Uk charges to bring them into line with the far east!

The rules are not different for silver or indeed any precious metal made abroad....if it is to be sold in the UK, regardless of country of origin, it has to comply with the UK hallmarking act! Sound like extremely zealous TS officers to me, though of course I don't know all the finer details!!

SteveLAO
14-08-2013, 09:39 AM
Can you give us some more details about the tests, Steve. Costs etc. All my jewellery is made using wire/sheet/findings/solder from Cooksons. I hope I'm right in assuming that they're within the EU rules. I'll also check with my casting firm.

Anna Wales, you're welcome to call our main switchboard and ask to be put through the lab - they will be very happy to give you all the details, times, costs etc. 0207 606 8971

pearlescence
15-08-2013, 07:17 AM
I'd also suspect over-excited TS officers - there's a lot of it about. They are very fond of 'gold-plating' the law (no puns at all). Nearly all of the nonsense European Union stories are caused by over-zealous civil servants and local government bods gold plating (remember the Euro-sausage?)Very often their job is justified only by prosecutions or threats of prosecution or enforcement (of laws whcih don't actually exist as they have insisted and which would be thrown out in court)

SteveLAO
16-08-2013, 02:47 PM
Yeah it's a shame as 99.9% of TS officers are really very good at what they do. We work very closely with them so know from first hand how they work. You just need one rogue and it gives them all a bad name. After all, they are there to protect us all from dodgy dealers and for the most part that's what they do so well!