Turkey tightens regulation of jewellers after demand for gold soars

Turkey’s government introduced new regulations for trading in gold and other previous metals, requiring jewellers to obtain new certification for their businesses.

The rules, published in the Official Gazette on Wednesday, include requiring jewellers to apply to the Trade Ministry for permission to continue operating. They must agree to refrain from conducting any other transactions, to show they have no debts to the tax authorities and that they belong to an approved trade organisation.

A draft measure that would have required the companies to deposit half a kilo of gold with state-run banks has been dropped, Dünya newspaper reported.

Turkish citizens have bought tens of billions of dollars of gold since a currency crisis erupted in the summer of 2018. Imports of the precious metal have led to a widening of the country’s current account deficit, pressuring the value of the lira.

The lira has fallen more than 10 percent against the dollar since mid-March when President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan sacked and replaced the governor of the central bank. It traded at 8.06 per dollar on Wednesday compared with 3.78 in January 2018, a loss of 53 percent.