By guaranteeing the fineness of precious metal alloys, the INCM Assay Offices ensure the required protection of the consumer and a fair competition among the different economic agents.

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The INCM Assay Offices provide that guarantee by verifying the legal fineness (parts per thousand of precious metals contained in an alloy) and applying the hallmark next to the manufacturer or equivalent responsibility mark. Currently, this 125 years old activity is executed in accredited laboratories, using the most modern analytical methods as well as high security marks to prevent counterfeiting.

This way, it is possible to provide a number of services that offer the highest quality standards to Portuguese jewellery. Particular emphasis should be placed on:

  • Quality control of jewellery articles, commemorative medals, watches and bars of precious metals; the application of assay office marks on articles of national manufacturing and on communitarian transactions that have unrecognised quality assurance and on international imports in connexion with customs;
  • Registration of the several activities included in the jewellery business as well as the issuing of licenses and the registration of the responsibility punches (belonging to the manufacturer or equivalent).
  • The deposit of the registration document in the country of origin, responsibility marks (or equivalents) of the European Economic Area and Turkey.
  • The technical verification and elaboration of verification reports to the Authority for Economic and Food Security, the Polícia Judiciária (Judiciary Police) and the Courts of Justice;
  • Appointing the official appraisers and the tester-smelters.
  • Technical advice to the Ministry of Finance and collaboration with other ministries on the jeweller's activity.
  • The representation on the Standing Committee of the Convention on Control and Marking of Articles of Precious Metals.

In order to fulfil this fundamental mission, the Assay Offices laboratories are accredited by IPAC for the different analysis of precious metal alloys, as well as brass, bronze and cupronickel, which are the alloys of the main current coins. The results obtained in international interlaboratory tests and the various audits carried out each year confirm the high level of the services provided.

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