First UK location to be granted rights to apply UK hallmark overseas.
The Sheffield Assay Office has become the first UK office to be granted permission to apply the UK hallmark overseas by the British Hallmarking Council.
The Hillsborough-based facility has now opened its first overseas branch in Malpensa, just outside Milan, Italy. Two local Sheffield artists, Annette Petch and Jen Ricketts, have been commissioned to develop the first articles to be hallmarked in the new location.
Legislation changes to the Hallmarking Act in February 2013, which followed a three year campaign, enabled the four UK Assay Offices to apply a UK hallmark overseas in a bid to compete with European offices already operating without geographic restrictions.
Deputy Prime Minister and Sheffield Hallam MP, Nick Clegg, celebrated the development with Sheffield Assay master Ashley Carson in a special commemorative visit following the announcement.
Carson admitted: “This is a landmark day for the UK hallmarking industry and I am delighted that Sheffield Assay Office is the first to open a branch overseas opening up significant commercial opportunities in a market place that is becoming increasingly globalised.
“By establishing an office oversees we can increase control, giving manufacturers an extended lead time on deliveries and streamlining company logistics.”
Mr Clegg commented: “I am absolutely delighted to see Sheffield taking advantage of the changes to the Hallmarking Act, allowing Sheffield to finally compete in Europe, enabling our city’s Assay Office, a jewel within Sheffield’s crown, to thrive not only in the UK market, but also now within Europe.”