1. What is Karatbars International GmbH?
Karatbars International GmbH (Karatbars) is an e-commerce company specializing in production and sales of 999.9 24 karat LBMA accredited gold in small denominations (currency-grade). The company has an affiliate program and distributes gold products through affiliate marketing efforts (similar to Amazon). It was launched in 2011 with the main office located in Stuttgart, Germany. Other two offices are located in Munich, Germany and Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (the latter opened in 2015).
Karatbars is financially secure, debt-free, bank-independent, fully self-funded company.
The official website of Karatbars is www.karatbars.com
Founder and owner
Main office address
Karatbars International GmbH
Vaihinger Strasse 149A 70567
Tel: +49 (711) 128 970 00
Fax: +49 (711) 128 970 29
US Support: + 1 224 829 00 47
EU Support: +49 (0) 711 128 970 00
2. What is the LBMA?
“LBMA” is an acronym and stands for the London Bullion Market Association. Located in London and established in 1987, it is an international trade association which represents the London market for gold and silver bullion*. Its clients are located all over the world and include the majority of central banks that hold gold, private sector investors, gold and silver mining companies, producers and refineries**.
Although the LBMA has a wide range of responsibilities, its core responsibility is to maintain the Good Delivery List. Good Delivery List is the list of gold and silver refineries that meet the requirements and adhere to procedures and policies set by the LBMA. The LBMA keeps two such Lists – one for gold and the other one for silver.
If a specific refinery is on the List, it means that it has acquired the LBMA accreditation. Moreover, to continue to maintain a spot on that List, a refinery must meet the regular testing conducted by the LBMA, otherwise it will be moved to the Former List.
Because of the stringent criteria that refineries must meet in order to acquire the LBMA accreditation, the quality of gold and silver bars of refineries that are already on the Lists is unquestionable and considered to be of universal standard.
The official website of the LBMA is www.lbma.org.uk
Some examples of LBMA accredited refineries
- Nadir Metal, headquartered in Turkey
- ATAkulche, headquartered in Turkey
- Degussa, headquartered in Germany
In fact, Nadir Metal is one of LBMA accredited refineries that Karatbars acquires its gold from.
* bullion – bars and ingots
** refinery – receives impure gold and removes its impurities so that it can be mixed with other metals (alloyed) or used in pure form
3. Is Karatbars accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB)?
No, Karatbars is not accredited by the BBB. The BBB evaluates only businesses based in US and Canada.
In Germany, the agency similar to the BBB is the Verbraucherschutzzentrale. It is not-governmental independent voluntary organization which helps consumers in times of need and is not an evaluating authority.
A German company does not need to have any kind of approval from such agencies in order to register and run a successful business. You can familiarize yourself with business registration requirements for GmbH in Germany here.
4. What countries is Karatbars open in?
Today Karatbars is roughly open in over the half of the world – over 120 countries. Taking into account that the company opened in 2011, the speed it has expanded in the last five years is amazing! The goal of Harald Seiz (founder and owner) and his hard-working team is eventully to be active in all 196 countries currently existing. If your country is not on the list, don’t worry, sooner or later you will find it in the table below, you just have to be patient as the process takes time.
The table below shows countries Karatbars is open in (Countries), whether gold is delivered to that country (Delivery), whether that country is approved for gold storage in Karabars vaults (Storage) and any additional information related to shipping to that country (Notice)
|Albania||Additional Taxes and Custom Duty|
|Antigua and Barbuda||–|
|Argentina||Additional Taxes and Custom Duty|
|Australia||FedEx Long Distance Fee|
|Bahamas||Additional Taxes and Custom Duty|
|Bangladesh||Additional Taxes and Custom Duty|
|Barbados||Additional Taxes and Custom Duty|
|Bermuda||Additional Taxes and Custom Duty|
|Bolivia||Additional Taxes and Custom Duty|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||Additional Taxes and Custom Duty|
|Botswana||Additional Taxes and Custom Duty|
|Brazil||Additional Taxes and Custom Duty|
|British Virgin Islands||–|
|Cambodia||Gold delivery maximum 300 USD|
|Canada||Additional Taxes and Custom Duty|
|Chile||Additional Taxes and Custom Duty|
|Dominican Republic||Additional Taxes and Custom Duty|
|Ecuador||Additional Taxes and Custom Duty|
|Egypt||Additional Taxes and Custom Duty|
|El Salvador||Additional Taxes and Custom Duty|
|Fiji||Additional Taxes and Custom Duty|
|Georgia||Additional Taxes and Custom Duty|
|Ghana||Additional Taxes and Custom Duty|
|Guatemala||Additional Taxes and Custom Duty|
|Guyana||Additional Taxes and Custom Duty|
|Haiti||Additional Taxes and Custom Duty|
|Honduras||Additional Taxes and Custom Duty|
|Iceland||Additional Taxes and Custom Duty|
|Isle of Man||Additional Taxes and Custom Duty|
|Israel||Additional Taxes and Custom Duty|
|Jamaica||Additional Taxes and Custom Duty|
|Japan||Additional Taxes and Custom Duty|
|Jordan||Additional Taxes and Custom Duty|
|Kenya||Additional Taxes and Custom Duty|
|Kosovo||Additional Taxes and Custom Duty|
|Macedonia||Additional Taxes and Custom Duty|
|Malaysia||Additional Taxes and Custom Duty|
|Mexico||Additional Taxes and Custom Duty|
|Montenegro||Additional Taxes and Custom Duty|
|Namibia||Additional Taxes and Custom Duty|
|Nepal||Additional Taxes and Custom Duty|
|New Zealand||Additional Taxes and Custom Duty / IET|
|Nicaragua||Additional Taxes and Custom Duty|
|Nigeria||Gold delivery maximum 1000 USD|
|Norway||Additional Taxes and Custom Duty|
|Paraguay||Additional Taxes and Custom Duty|
|Peru||Additional Taxes and Custom Duty|
|Philippines||Additional Taxes and Custom Duty|
|Saint Kitts and Nevis||–|
|Saint Vincent and The Grenadines||–|
|Serbia||Additional Taxes and Custom Duty|
|Singapore||Additional Taxes and Custom Duty|
|South Africa||Additional Taxes and Custom Duty|
|South Korea||Additional Taxes and Custom Duty|
|St. Lucia||Additional Taxes and Custom Duty|
|Taiwan||Additional Taxes and Custom Duty|
|Tanzania||Additional Taxes and Custom Duty|
|Thailand||Additional Taxes and Custom Duty|
|Trinidad and Tobago||Additional Taxes and Custom Duty|
|Turkey||Additional Taxes and Custom Duty|
|Turks and Caicos Islands||–|
|Uganda||Additional Taxes and Custom Duty|
|United Arab Emirate||–|
|United States||Additional Taxes and Custom Duty|
|Uruguay||Additional Taxes,Custom Duty and broker fee|
|Vatican City State||–|
|Venezuela||Additional Taxes and Custom Duty|
|Vietnam||Additional Taxes and Custom Duty|
*Affiliates and customers from Switzerland, please note that any customs regulations implemented by your country such as any import duties or taxes are your responsibility
5. Where does Karatbars store my gold?
To store gold for its customers, Karatbars uses two safe, third-party vaults that are fully-insured. It is important to mention that Karatbars always stores more gold in its vaults than customers’ storage holdings are.
One of the vaults is located in Karatbars home office, in Stuttgart. This is where the company stores small gold bars, that is 1-gram, 2.5-gram and 5-gram bars. Every year, usually twice per year, the German government conducts audits on gold vaults and not once did Karatbars fail a single audit. Nonetheless, if Karatbars does fail in the future, according to the government policy in Germany, it will be publicized meaning that you will know about the failure from the news.
The second vault is where large gold bars are stored. However, due to security reasons, Karatbars does not expose the details of the vault’s location. The company provides this information only to the German government.
“Four eye” principle
Karatbars has a “four eye” principle with its gold shipping and storage. This means that every time anyone, an employee say, physically touches gold, there should be four sets of eyes acknowledging this happening in one way or another. For example, one set of those eyes is video surveillance and the other set is a signature of some other employee or contractor.
Because Karatbars regularly has to pass stringent requirements to continue to store gold for its customers, you can feel safe about letting Karatbars store gold for you. However, remember, don’t keep all your eggs in one basket, so have one portion of your gold shipped to you and have another portion stored.
6. Could you please tell me more about Karatbars gold card?
Karatbars gold card is a plastic card carrying an embedded gold bar (1.0 gram , 2.5 gram or 5 gram). Each gold bar has a purity of 999.9, comes from LBMA accredited refinery and carries a unique Karatbars DNA. The card itself measures 8.5 cm (3.3 inches) in length and 5.4 cm (2.1 inch) in width and is similar to credit and debit cards issued to you by banks.
The card is loaded with three security features! A hologram, blacklight signature and unique Karatbars DNA (on a bar)
If you want to know more about the card (including the details on security features) read this article.
7. What is Karatbars cash gold?
Karatbars cash gold is invention of Harald Seiz, the founder of Karatbars, and his team. It is a piece of paper with embedded in it small gold bar and covered with laminate. Today, there are only 0.1 gram bars while 0.2 gram, 0.4 gram and 0.6 gram bars are coming in the fall of 2016.
Each cash gold note is 6.6 cm (2.6 inches) in width and 15 cm (5.9 inches) in length.
Want to learn more about it? Read the article.