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SEC issues guidance on conflict minerals rules [US]

Author: Kimberley R. Anderson, Dorsey & Whitney LLP, Published on: 3 June 2013

On May 30, 2013, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued its long anticipated guidance on the conflict minerals rules...The FAQs provide significant relief for certain kinds of manufacturers, particularly those in the food industry...Perhaps most significantly, the FAQs specify that packaging containing conflict minerals is not considered part of the product...Mining of conflict minerals is not considered manufacturing under the rules. In addition, the FAQs clarify that activities relating to mining are also not considered to be manufacturing...The conflict minerals rules have been subject to an ongoing lawsuit commenced last October by the National Association of Manufacturers, together with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The SEC guidance discussed above provides clarification and welcome relief, particularly to packaged goods manufacturers, but we expect the rules will continue to impose a significant burden on many issuers and their suppliers.

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