EU: Parliament adopts binding law on conflict minerals

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Article
2 May 2017

Speech: EU Trade Commissioner Malmström promotes sustainable minerals trade

Author: Ein News

The Commissioner, speaking in Paris, highlighted recently-agreed EU legislation which would ensure EU importers of gold, tungsten, tin and tantalum have to take care that their materials do not finance conflict, or use slave labour — a move which would in particular benefit the Great Lakes mining region of Central Africa, where a decades-long conflict has cost millions of lives. "I hope EU leadership on this issue will be echoed around the world", she told attendees at a Forum organised by the OECD, outlining the EU's agenda to encourage global partners to follow suit and promote sustainable trade.

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Article
18 April 2017

Council of European Union adopts new rules to tackle conflict minerals

Author: Council of the European Union

On 3 April 2017, the Council adopted a regulation aimed at stopping the financing of armed groups through trade in conflict minerals. The regulation obliges EU companies to source their imports of tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold responsibly and to ensure that their supply chains do not contribute to funding armed conflict. These 'due diligence' rules will become binding from1 January 2021, though importers are encouraged to apply them as soon as possible….The regulation carries clear obligations to source responsibly for the 'upstream' part of the production process, which involves the extraction and refining of these minerals... The competent authorities will carry out checks to ensure that EU importers of minerals and metals comply with their due diligence obligations…The Commission will also draft a handbook including non-binding guidelines to help companies, and especially SMEs, with the identification of conflict-affected and high-risk areas. The regulation builds upon 2011 OECD guidelines which set the international benchmark for supply chain due diligence...

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Article
23 March 2017

Analysis: 3 ways EU conflict minerals rule differs from US approach

Author: Nate Lankford, Richard A. Mojica & Quinnie Lin (Miller & Chevalier); Sue Millar & Jo Jones (Stephenson Harwood), on Law260

"3 Ways EU Conflict Minerals Rule Differs From US Approach", 20 Mar 2017

While the EU and U.S. regulatory regimes are similar in some respects, there are notable differences between the two in terms of their applicability to companies, geographic scope, and due diligence requirements. Here, we highlight three key ways in which the EU regulation will differ from the U.S. approach, which have important implications for companies using minerals potentially sourced from conflict-affected areas...(1) Narrower Applicability to Companies The EU regulation will cover a narrower set of companies than the U.S. rule...the proposed EU regulation will only apply to direct importers of 3TG into the EU, as well as smelters and refiners that process 3TG from "conflict-affected" and "high-risk" areas. Unlike the U.S. rule, the EU regulation does not require downstream manufacturers and sellers to engage in mandatory due diligence...(2) Potentially Broader Geographic Scope...the EU regulation may be more expansive geographically because it will apply to a yet undefined set of "conflict-affected" and "high risk" regions. According to the regulation, the EU Commission will select experts to provide an “indicative, non-exhaustive, regularly updated list of conflict-affected and high-risk areas.”...(3) Mandatory Due Diligence Without Preliminary Assessment...The EU regulation...does not require any threshold review prior to due diligence. If an importer is covered by the EU regulation, the importer must conduct due diligence on its suppliers using an independent third-party auditor. Similar to the U.S. rule, the EU regulation requires due diligence to be based on the OECD guidance...

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Article
20 March 2017

EU Conflict Minerals Regulation — Details On What EU Importers Must Do

Author: Lexology

The proposed EU conflict minerals regulation has almost reached the last step before becoming an official EU regulation. On March 16, 2017, the European Parliament voted to approve the regulation, and the Council of the EU is expected to formally approve it in the weeks to come. The Council’s vote will be the last step before the regulation is published and goes into effect. The proposed regulation includes many of the same basic provisions as the US rule, but several reporting obligations and the coverage of the regulation are broader than those of the US rule...

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Article
16 March 2017

Conflict-Free Sourcing Initiative welcomes EU conflict minerals regulation

The Conflict-Free Sourcing Initiative (CFSI), a coalition of leading companies dedicated to improving the security and human rights conditions in their raw materials supply chains, welcomes the European Union (EU) regulation on supply chain due diligence obligations for EU importers of tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold (3TG). The new regulation was approved today by the European Parliament and will next go before the European Council...

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Article
16 March 2017

EU: Parliament adopts binding law on conflict minerals

Author: EURACTIV

... After two and a half years of debate, the European Parliament on Thursday definitively adopted the new rules on mineral imports from conflict zones, which will come into force in 2021. This new law, which will apply across all EU member states, will oblige importers of tungsten, tantalum, tin and gold to ensure their supply chains are not linked to armed conflicts in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) or in Africa’s Great Lakes region, where mines are often controlled by armed groups...

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