EU's Approach to Conflict Minerals
This March the EU’s trade chief will take an aggressive approach regarding the importation of Conflict Minerals stemming from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and its neighboring regions. The voluntary movement is in high prospect to understand the exact source of the minerals and how to avoid sourcing from the areas of conflict.
Karel De Gucht a member of the European Commission presented a proposal to ensure imported gold, tungsten, tantalum, and tin are classified as conflict free or as products that came from conflicting regions.
The EU’s legislation on Conflict Minerals has not yet been set into motion but is very similar to the U.S. Dodd-Frank SEC 1502 Wall Street Reform & Consumer Protection Act. Initially the proposed law was to be focused on extracting raw materials from the DRC however it will most likely extend into northern regions of Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
On May 31, 2014 under Section 1502 of the SEC’s Conflict Minerals Rule, U.S. publicly traded companies will have to file a special disclosure for the 12-month reporting period ending on December 31, 2013. The aim of the rule, mandated by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, is to provide transparency into corporate practices and specifically to reduce funding for armed groups involved in human rights violations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and surrounding countries. Section 1502 compels public disclosure for any issuer whose products are identified as containing one or more of the four conflict minerals (tantalum, tin, tungsten and gold also known as “3TG”) suspected to have originated in the DRC or surrounding countries.
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