June 19, 2017 02:00:40 AM
SEATTLE (ITRI.CO.UK): The final text of the European Union's Conflict Minerals Regulation 2017 has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union, available here. This outlines supply chain due diligence obligations for EU importers of tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold from conflict-affected and high-risk areas.
The Regulation will be phased in, with parts effective from July 9th, and full compliance with all provisions a requirement from 1st January 2021. This aims to give companies sufficient time for implementation, which will require the organisation of reporting procedures, consultations and third-party audits. Importers will be required to provide information including the names of suppliers and country of origin and, for high-risk areas, must provide information including the mine of mineral origin as well as locations of mineral consolidation, trade, processing and taxation. In line with OECD guidance on all minerals from high-risk areas, companies and their supply chain must implement a strategy for identifying and mitigating supply chain risks relating to human rights, conflict, bribery, taxation and related issues and must disengage with relevant suppliers if no measurable progress is made to resolve these.
The Regulation is mandatory for upstream importers of products listed in table below, while reporting remains voluntary for importers of downstream products such as finished goods. It will also only be applicable to importers in the EU who trade above specified volume thresholds, also specified in the table below. In addition, the regulation will apply neither to stocks of material created prior to 1 February 2013 or recycled metals except where the importer can conclude that the metals are derived only from recycled or scrap sources, in which case it must disclose this conclusion.
ITRI View: Unlike in the Dodd-Frank conflict minerals law, the EU has not precisely defined high-risk areas which are likely to lead to heavy responsibilities for due diligence on upstream companies. For tin, current imports of ores and concentrates into the EU are minimal and the Regulation will have no effect, while the additional burden on importers of semi-finished alloys and chemicals may tend to favour manufacture of finished products outside the EU for only voluntary reporting on import.
Courtesy: www. itri.co.uk