EU drafts conflict minerals law, with opt-in clause

Author: EurActiv (Belgium), Published on: 4 March 2014

European firms are set to be offered a voluntary self-certification scheme to prove that their products’ mineral components were not sold by warlords to fuel bloody conflicts, under a draft EU law that falls short of campaigners’ expectations...The proposed regulation, seen by EurActiv, would set up a "responsible importer" scheme for firms exercising 'due diligence' over commodity supply chains, offering incentives ranging from EU public procurement contracts to funding possibilities for SMEs...Unless there is an eleventh hour intervention from the EU hierarchy, the scheme to be announced on 5 March will only apply to companies placing raw materials on the market - such as Europe’s 20 or so smelters - and not importers of products such as mobile phones, which may already have had the materials installed...A spokesman for the French development NGO CCFD Terre Solidaire told EurActiv: "With this proposal, the commission shows that it pays more attention to business lobbyists and less to people around the world who suffer because of resource-funded conflicts." [Refers to Apple, Philipps, Siemens]

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