Hallmarking Act, 1981

JurisdictionIreland
CitationIR No. 18/1981


Number 18 of 1981


HALLMARKING ACT, 1981


ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

Section

1.

Definitions.

2.

Approved hallmarks.

3.

Regulations prescribing approved hallmarks.

4.

International hallmarks.

5.

False descriptions of certain articles.

6.

Permissible descriptions of unhallmarked articles.

7.

Regulations prescribing standards of fineness.

8.

Application of certain enactments to platinum.

9.

Sponsor's mark.

10.

Restriction of section 59 of Customs Act, 1842.

11.

Restriction of section 10 of Revenue Act, 1883.

12.

Addition, etc. to hallmarked articles.

13.

Penalties for forgery, etc. of certain dies and stamps.

14.

Charges by Company.

15.

Repeals.

16.

Regulations to be laid before Houses of Oireachtas.

17.

Expenses.

18.

Short title and commencement.

SCHEDULE

Enactments Repealed


Acts Referred to

Customs Act, 1842

1842, c. 47

Customs (Amendment) Act, 1842

1842, c. 56

Forgery Act, 1913

1913, c. 27

Gold and Silver Wares Act, 1854

1854, c. 96

Hall-marking of Foreign Plate Act, 1904

1904, c. 6

Merchandise Marks Act, 1887

1887, c. 28

Plate Assay Act, 1783

1783, c. 23

Plate Assay (Amendment) Act, 1931

1931, No. 10

Plate Assay (Ireland) Act, 1807

1807, c. 15

Revenue Act, 1883

1883, c. 55


Number 18 of 1981


HALLMARKING ACT, 1981


AN ACT TO AMEND THE LAW RELATING TO THE ASSAYING AND HALLMARKING OF GOLD AND SILVER, TO EXTEND THAT LAW TO ARTICLES OF PLATINUM, AND TO PROVIDE FOR OTHER CONNECTED MATTERS. [2nd June, 1981]

BE IT ENACTED BY THE OIREACHTAS AS FOLLOWS:

Definitions.

1.—In this Act—

“the Act of 1913” means the Forgery Act, 1913;

“approved hallmark” has the meaning assigned to it by section 2 of this Act;

“articles of precious metal” means articles consisting of or containing gold, silver or platinum or alloys of gold, silver or platinum;

“Assay Master” means the Assay Master for the time being appointed by the Company;

“the Charter” means the Charter granted to the Company on the 22nd day of December, 1637;

“the Company” means the Company described in the Charter as the Wardens and Commonalty of Goldsmiths of the city of Dublin;

“forgery” has the same meaning as in the Act of 1913, and cognate words shall be construed accordingly;

“international hallmark” has the meaning assigned to it by section 2 (1) (c) of this Act;

“Irish standards of fineness” has the meaning assigned to it by section 7 of this Act;

“the Minister” means the Minister for Industry, Commerce and Tourism;

“sponsor”, in relation to an article of precious metal, means the maker, worker of or dealer in such an article;

“sponsor's mark” has the meaning assigned to it by section 9 of this Act.

Approved hallmarks.

2.—(1) For the purposes of this Act each of the following shall be an approved hallmark—

(a) a mark lawfully struck by the Assay Master, whether before or after the commencement of this Act, in accordance with regulations made under section 3 of this Act,

(b) a mark lawfully struck in an assay office in the United Kingdom before the 21st day of February, 1927,

(c) a mark, to be known as an “international hallmark”, which is prescribed by regulations under section 3 of this Act as a mark recognised by the Government or the Minister under a treaty or international convention to which the State or the Government is a party and which relates to precious metals and is lawfully struck—

(i) by the Assay Master, or

(ii) in a country other than the State, but is not a mark referred to in paragraph (b) of this subsection.

(2) References in the Charter to stamps or marks applied to gold or silver shall be construed as references to approved hallmarks.

Regulations prescribing approved hallmarks.

3.—(1) The Minister may, after consultation with the Company, make regulations prescribing an approved hallmark for articles of precious metal specified in the regulations or substituting a mark for a mark struck before the commencement of this Act, and from the commencement of the regulations the provisions of this Act applying to an approved hallmark shall apply to the articles of precious metal so specified or to marks so substituted.

(2) Regulations under this section may prescribe different marks for articles manufactured in the State and for articles imported into the State.

(3) Regulations under this section may prescribe an international hallmark as an approved hallmark.

(4) Regulations under this section may contain such consequential or ancillary provisions as appear to the Minister to be necessary or desirable.

International hallmarks.

4.—(1) Notwithstanding any enactment passed before the commencement of this Act, an article of precious metal manufactured in the State may, at the option of the sponsor, bear either an international hallmark referred to in section 2 (1) (c) (i) of this Act or a mark referred to in section 2 (1) (a) of this Act, or both.

(2) Notwithstanding any enactment passed before the commencement of this Act, an imported article of precious metal which bears an international hallmark referred to in section 2 (1) (c) (ii) of this Act and which conforms to the Irish standards of fineness shall not require further assaying or hallmarking in the State.

(3) Notwithstanding subsection (2) of this section, the Assay Master may at his discretion carry out such random or periodical tests as he thinks necessary or desirable to ensure conformity with the Irish standards of fineness, or to detect forgery.

False descriptions of certain articles.

5.—Subject to section 6 of this Act, a person who in the course of trade or business applies to any article which is not of precious metal a description indicating or specifying that the article is made wholly or partly of gold, silver or platinum, or who supplies or offers to supply or has in his possession for sale such an article to which such a description is applied, is guilty of the offence under section 2 of the Merchandise Marks Act, 1887 , of applying a false trade description.

Permissible descriptions of unhallmarked articles.

6.—(1) Section 5 of this Act does not apply to a description which is permissible under this Act.

(2) A description is permissible under this Act if it complies with the following conditions:

(a) it is confined either expressly or by implication to the colour of the article;

(b) if it consists of or includes the word “gold”, that word is qualified by the word “plated” or by the word “rolled”;

(c) if it consists of or includes the word “silver” or the word “platinum”, whichever of those words is used is qualified by the word “plated”;

(d) where the description is in writing and the word “plated” or the word “rolled” is used, that word is at least as large as the rest of the description.

(3) Subsection (2) of this section does not apply if the description is false or is applied to an article for which the description is inappropriate.

Regulations prescribing standards of fineness.

7.—(1) The Minister may, after consultation with the Company, make regulations prescribing standards of fineness (to be known, and referred to in this Act, as “Irish standards of fineness”) for articles of precious metal specified in the regulations and for the solders of such articles.

(2) On and from the commencement of regulations under this section the references in the Charter and in section 3 of the Plate Assay (Ireland) Act, 1807 , to standards of fineness of gold and silver and the references in section 22 of the Plate Assay Act, 1783 , to standards of fineness of gold shall be construed as references to the corresponding Irish standards of fineness.

Application of certain enactments to platinum.

8.—(1) From the commencement of this Act every reference to gold or silver in an enactment specified in subsection (2) of this section shall be construed as including a reference to platinum.

(2) The enactments referred to in subsection (1) of this section are—

(a) the Charter of the Company,

(b) the Plate Assay Act, 1783 ,

(c) the Customs Act, 1842 ,

(d) the Plate Assay (Ireland) Act, 1807 ,

(e) section 10 of the Revenue Act, 1883 ,

(f) the Hall-marking of Foreign Plate Act, 1904 ,

(g) the Act of 1913.

Sponsor's Mark.

9.—(1) Subject to subsection (2) of this section, where a sponsor proposes to submit an article of precious metal to the Assay Master to be struck with an approved hallmark, the sponsor...

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