The EU conflict minerals regime
Produced in partnership with Simon Garbett of Squire Patton Boggs and Dynda Thomas of Squire Patton Boggs

The following Commercial practice note produced in partnership with Simon Garbett of Squire Patton Boggs and Dynda Thomas of Squire Patton Boggs provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • The EU conflict minerals regime
  • Background
  • Commercial considerations
  • First steps for practitioners
  • Who is covered?
  • Which metals and minerals are covered?
  • Which geographies are covered?
  • Which due diligence framework applies?
  • What must EU importers do?
  • Compliance efforts

The EU conflict minerals regime

Background

Responsible sourcing is now an important dimension to supply chain management. Supply chain professionals must account for and respond to non-governmental organizations (NGOs), customers, shareholders, and regulators’ expectations that business entities should know the provenance of all materials and components in their products, and that they should address the human rights impacts of their operations and supply chains. Sourcing valuable minerals from conflict-affected and high-risk areas is one of the most challenging supply-chain concerns.

To address that concern, in 2010, the US Congress included a provision in the Dodd-Frank Act Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act) that required the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to issue a rule focused on breaking the connection between trade in certain minerals sourced in central Africa and extreme human rights violations by armed groups in the region. The SECs conflict minerals rule was adopted in 2012 and requires US reporting companies to disclose the source and chain of custody of tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold (conflict minerals) from war-torn countries in Central Africa in their products.

Since then, the voices of many NGOs, activists and consumers have grown louder and their conflict minerals expectations on companies continue to increase. In 2017, after several years of consideration and debate, the EU adopted Regulation (EU) 2017/821 of the European Parliament and of the Council of

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