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Tiffany's Continues Ban On Gems From Burma


The luxury jeweler Tiffany's has decided to continue its ban on importing Burmese gems, despite a U.S. ruling that would permit some imports.

Last year, the jeweler asked U.S. Customs and Border Protection for an exemption on Burmese rubies that are cut and processed in other countries. The United States halted Burmese imports in 2003 because of Rangoon's human rights violations.

But the Customs department ruled last December that if the gems undergo "substantial transformation" when they are processed, they are no longer considered Burmese products and thus can be imported.

Despite the ruling in its favor, Tiffany's said it would continue its ban on Burmese rubies, spinel and jadeite.

Burmese rights groups welcomed the decision.

The export of jewels is a major money maker for Burma's military government.

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