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Thread: Silver Hallmarking Laws/Rules in France?

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  1. #1
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    Feb 2018
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    Default Silver Hallmarking Laws/Rules in France?

    Hello, first post on the forum (!) so hello everyone. Apologies in advance if I've got something wrong forum-wise.

    So it's a bit of a long shot but I'm hoping there's a hallmark-savvy person out there who knows what the rules are in Europe! I've had a good ol' couple-hour long Google search for an answer to my question but nothing substantial has come up.
    I live in FRANCE and have been selling my handmade (mainly) silver jewelry on Facebook for a little while and now a shop has asked me if I'd like to sell in their store. I have also just learned that there are strict rules about marking your jewelry (hallmark/maker's marks) if it's for sale in FRANCE.

    My questions are:
    1. What are the rules for hallmarking your jewelry in France - can you simply mark the silver with .925 stamp or is it done by a central agency? If so, how and where is this done!? (I've just started reading about selling in the UK and it sounds insanely complicated!)
    2. What if your pieces have no flat area or are too small to mark their quality? Do you engrave it in? Is there a weight limit to what you are required to mark?

    Again, bit of a long shot but I'd appreciate if anyone has any info on this! Thanks again!

    MWJ

  2. #2
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    France, as Im sure you are aware by now, is somewhat drowning in bureaucracy and red tape.
    My way around this when I lived there for 3 years was to have my items hallmarked in the UK which is far simpler.
    The UK hallmark is a legal standard almost everywhere and is a higher guarantee than some others in the EU, including France.
    HOWEVER I only sold online where the rules are slightly different, Im not certain whether you may have issues if you are selling through a shop within France so you would really need to look into it there.
    Are you registered as an artisan?

  3. #3
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    Ask the interested shop, which should know. If they don't their whole operation is suspect, surely.
    You will also have to comply with various EU regs such as nickel etc content and distance selling regulations (for your facebook sales)
    Author: Pearls A Practical Guide
    www.pearlsapractical.guide
    www.Pearlescence.co.uk

  4. #4
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    Hi Pearlescence, thanks for your answer!
    The shop is a new cafe that is displaying local artists - they only opened in December so they're learning the rules/taxes/everything as well. I don't suspect any foul play but ignorance the same as me. Perhaps I can ask them to get more information for me as well.
    I'm interested to know where I can find the regulations for the EU as far as 'nickel etc content and distance selling regulations' - would you happen to know where I can find this information? So much to learn!!
    Many many thanks,
    MWJ

  5. #5
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    I sent my items to the Birmingham assay office for marking, I still do as Im in Portugal now where the bureaucracy is even worse but the sun shines more lol.
    https://theassayoffice.co.uk
    You have to contact them and have your own mark set up but they are extremely helpful and can explain everything if you give them a call.
    However Im not sure what will happen when Brexit goes through with regard to potentially being charged customs fees on items coming back into France from the UK.
    Realistically you may be better getting it done in France but I didn't get far enough through the red tape to know how thats all done Im afraid.

  6. #6
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    Ah we were just in Alvar about a month ago, beautiful and warm, I don't blame you!!
    Thank you that's very helpful! If I can't figure out the French system perhaps this will be a good stop-gap. In any case I'll have a chat with them ASAP to figure out a solution.
    On another note, how regulated is all of this? I only say that because I think it's odd I hadn't heard anything about it until now - seems like something there'd be a lot of discussion about if it was a major issue/regular problem? Or perhaps I just haven't been knowledgable because I haven't had to know about it before recently. And to be clear I am not implying one shouldn't comply!! I only mean that I find it strange I never knew about any of this before and never heard of anyone having to send all their inventory away to be marked!
    I am American so maybe the laws are different there? And if not, then I'll be the first to say I'm completely ignorant on the whole issue. Really hoping to educate myself so thanks for the links and info!!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by enigma View Post
    I sent my items to the Birmingham assay office for marking, I still do as Im in Portugal now where the bureaucracy is even worse but the sun shines more lol.
    https://theassayoffice.co.uk
    You have to contact them and have your own mark set up but they are extremely helpful and can explain everything if you give them a call.
    However Im not sure what will happen when Brexit goes through with regard to potentially being charged customs fees on items coming back into France from the UK.
    Realistically you may be better getting it done in France but I didn't get far enough through the red tape to know how thats all done Im afraid.
    Hi Sarah, I have just a quick question regarding your UK hallmark...as Portugal is a signatory of the International Convention, do you also have to have the Convention Mark on your pieces?

    I am considering changing and wondered about cross border hallmarks and sales.

    Thanks Les
    Poor old Les

  8. #8
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    Sep 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by mwj View Post
    Hi Pearlescence, thanks for your answer!
    The shop is a new cafe that is displaying local artists - they only opened in December so they're learning the rules/taxes/everything as well. I don't suspect any foul play but ignorance the same as me. Perhaps I can ask them to get more information for me as well.
    I'm interested to know where I can find the regulations for the EU as far as 'nickel etc content and distance selling regulations' - would you happen to know where I can find this information? So much to learn!!
    Many many thanks,

    MWJ
    You could try Google
    Author: Pearls A Practical Guide
    www.pearlsapractical.guide
    www.Pearlescence.co.uk

  9. #9
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    Feb 2018
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    Quote Originally Posted by pearlescence View Post
    You could try Google
    Cheers.
    Yes found some info on general Distance Selling Regulations, thanks. Good to know, I'll update my info on shop, though I normally don't sell abroad.
    Was asking more about 'nickel content' comment as that is very jewelry-specific and after more searching nothing's come up. I'll keep looking thanks.

  10. #10
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    Feb 2018
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    Hi Enigma, thanks very much for your reply --
    Yes it's bureaucratically bountiful here...!
    I am set up as an autoentrepreneur (writer) as that's my main income. I've looked at changing to jeweler but you can make and sell 'joallerie' as a secondary activity and NOT change status as long as it doesn't overtake your other job in terms of income, which it hasn't yet. When I need to switch it, it takes a few minutes online so that's not a big problem.
    Can I ask how you went about having your items hallmarked in the UK? I'm completely new to this as I've only been making jewelry for a very short time - as you can see I've only just realized this is a requirement - daft I know...! This info would be very very helpful! Thank you!

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