Good Delivery

Good Delivery FAQ

Want to know more about Good Delivery? Here are the answers to the questions we’re asked most frequently.

The weight of bars must fall within the range specified in the Good Delivery Rules. Bars such as kilobars, 100-ounce and smaller bars are not acceptable in the London wholesale market, (though they may be in other markets or exchanges). For further details on kilobars produced by GDL refiners visit www.goldbarsworldwide.com.

The company should have been in business for five years and the refinery should have an operating history of three years.

Yes, It should be at least the equivalent of £15 million.

This varies depending on how quickly the company is able to provide any additional information that may have been missing from its initial application and how long it takes to provide the sample bars following successful completion of the assay test.

Delays may also be encountered in the shipping of samples and the payment of fees, which will lengthen the overall application procedure. The minimum timescale from the submission of a complete application to accreditation is approximately four months but an average of approximately six months is more likely.

The Former Lists include:

  1. Refiners who no longer produce bars at the locations listed;
  2. Refiners whose bars are no longer accepted as Good Delivery by the London Bullion market;
  3. Bars whose brand mark has been changed (in which case the current brand mark is described in the Current Gold or Silver List).
  4. Assayer-only companies which were previously granted Good Delivery status. Refiners are now expected to have the ability to assay as well as refine to the required standard.

However, bars produced by these refiners prior to their transfer to this list on the date given below continue to be acceptable as Good Delivery. The LBMA reserves the right to de-list bars after an appropriate period of time in cases where production has ceased.

There are a number of separate cases, which can relate either to a particular bar (as determined by its dimensions and/or marks) or to a particular refinery. A refinery may be transferred to the Former List if:

  1. Its ownership has changed and the new owners are unable to provide satisfactory evidence of their bona fides
  2. It requests to be removed (for instance because it does not wish to pay the annual maintenance fee)
  3. It ceases production
  4. Its tangible net worth falls consistently below the LBMA minimum of £15 million
  5. Its production of refined metal falls consistently below the minima specified by the LBMA (10 tonnes pa for gold and 50 tonnes pa for silver)
  6. It fails to maintain the technical standards shown in the LBMA's Good Delivery Rules
  7. It does not respond adequately to justifiable customer complaints
  8. A previously registered bar (as defined by its dimensions and marks) may be transferred to the Former List for one or more of the reasons listed below, while the refiner continues to be listed but with a modified bar:
    • a. The form or dimensions of the bar do not meet current requirements
    • b. The marks on the bars have been modified. For instance, a company may change from a portrait to a landscape format. Other reasons for such changes include rebranding by the company (e.g. using a new logo) or a change of ownership (i.e. a new name).

Yes.

The LBMA would investigate the complaint, if necessary including an examination of the bars and if the complaint appeared justified it would write to the refiner asking it to "stand behind" its bars by making appropriate restitution to the customer.

The main reason for having a tolerance on the weight of Good Delivery bars is because in the overwhelming number of cases they are produced by being cast into open moulds.

This involves the caster pouring the molten metal from a ladle and judging essentially by eye when the mould is full.

The LBMA has never tried to enforce a totally uniform approach to the dimensions of Good Delivery bars. As long as the bars are within the range specified in the Good Delivery Rules, they are considered to be acceptable in principle. The idea behind the recommended range is the facilitation of manual handling (not just in the London vaults but also in the markets where bars are consumed) while at the same time minimising the number of operations involved in the refinery, the vault and at the point of consumption.

There are three ranges that could be mentioned:

  • (a) 500 to 1250 troy ounces
  • (b) 750 to 1100 troy ounces
  • (c) 900 to 1050 troy ounces

Range (a) was in force until 1999. It was then replaced by a range (b), the current range, because the lower limit of 500 would mean that many bars would have to be produced and processed for a given tonnage while the upper limit of 1250 gave bars which were dangerously heavy for manual handling. Although it is not mandatory, refiners are asked to produce bars within range (c) essentially because this facilitates the assembly of uniform pallets.

The common approach adopted by LBMA Good Delivery refiners in Russia and Uzbekistan is to use a 4-digit bar number plus a 2-Cyrillic letter code (which changes with each resetting of the bar number to 0001) and a separate 4-digit year code. The combination of the company's brand mark, the two Cyrillic letter code and the 4-digit bar number provides a unique identifier for every bar.

Some London vaults have used the nearest Roman equivalent to the two Cyrillic characters as part of the bar number. These provide a unique identifier and such bar numbers will continue to be used as bars move within the London vaulting system.

Other vaults have ignored the Cyrillic letters when recording the bars in their information systems. This can result in the same 4-digit bar numbers appearing more than once in bar lists (though each of them has a different Cyrillic code).

In order to avoid this apparent duplication, LBMA vaults have, since February 2010, recorded such bars with an 8-10 digit bar number formed from the 4-digit year concatenated with the 4-digit bar number and the vault manager may also additionally include a maximum of two alpha characters being the Roman equivalent of the Cyrillic characters shown on the bar.

Occasionally older bars with Cyrillic letter codes but no year marks arrive in London. In such cases, the receiving vault should use the nearest Roman equivalent to the Cyrillic characters as the first characters of the bar number.

Since January 2018, gold and silver bars can be marked with up to five significant figures, however, it must have a point or comma delimiter to avoid confusion and potential ambiguous additions. The weight list would only include four significant figures.