(MENAFN - Jordan Times) AMMAN — Hallmark taxes on local, imported and bullion gold have been reduced by more than 50 per cent following reports by shops of sharp declines in the sale of gold and jewellery, President of the Jordanian Jewellers Association Osama Imseeh said on Wednesday.
The decision to reduce hallmark (an official mark struck into metals to certify their content) taxes, which has left goldsmiths who spoke with The Jordan Times in 'shock', comes after the government imposed a 16 per cent tax on a hallmark it required merchants to place on their merchandise in March.
Only one month before that, in February, the government also imposed new taxes on gold sales.
The decease means that hallmarks for imported gold have gone from JD1.75 to 85 fils, local gold hallmarks from 75 to 35 fils and bullion from JD500 to JD175.
Goldsmiths protested after the decision in March, but the protests were soon finished.
For the next few months, goldsmiths told The Jordan Times that 'sales were next to nothing' and that many of them had to close new branches, or invest their money in other businesses.
'We had to close two branches in Sweifieh after the increase. Business wasn't moving at all, but now hopefully we can pick up where we left off,' said Khaled Tarteer, the owner of several jewellery shops in Amman.
Azzam Sami, a goldsmith who has been in the business for over 20 years and deals in bullion said: 'I closed one of my shops and opened up a car-service shop instead, as I thought the business would never flourish again.'
Looking towards the future, goldsmiths and jewellery shop owners said the decision should 'quickly revive their businesses'.
'Gold is just like currency; you buy when its value is low and sell when it's high. Now that prices will go down for sure, not only customers, but also investors will look to deal in gold again,' added Tarteer.