January 2013 marked the beginning of the first Conflict Minerals reporting period for companies affected by the US Dodd-Frank Act. A EU-specific Conflict Minerals legislation is expected by the end of this year. As part of the impact assessment, iPoint-systems has conducted a study for the European Commission.
The European Union needs to take action on the issue of Conflict Minerals, the European Commissioner for Trade, Karel De Gucht, emphasized in a speech held on September 3, 2013, at an event hosted by the Federation of German Industries (BDI) in Brussels.
In March 2013, the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Trade launched a three-month-long “Public consultation on a possible EU initiative on responsible sourcing of minerals originating from conflict-affected and high-risk areas”, inviting stakeholders to share their views on this topic. The European Commission is currently using the results of this consultation for its decision on the strategy and form of a European Conflict Minerals initiative.
According to De Gucht, this decision will be made by the end of 2013. Promising an “effective but reasonable” EU system to encourage the responsible sourcing of minerals produced in “conflict areas”, the Trade Commissioner highlighted three important matters. First, in order to tackle the issue without creating a competing or divergent system, the European Conflict Minerals law will build on existing efforts and guidelines like the OECD Due Diligence Framework or the US Conflict Minerals legislation. Second, the minerals addressed by the EU rule are not likely to be expanded beyond the minerals covered by the US Conflict Minerals law (tantalum, tin, tungsten, gold). Third, the EU directive will almost certainly have a broader geographical scope than the US Conflict Minerals rule, affecting not only Central Africa, but also, for example, Latin America.
As part of the impact assessment process, the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Trade charged iPoint-systems with the task of analyzing the impacts of a potential European Conflict Minerals initiative. In particular, iPoint’s study assesses the due diligence compliance cost, benefit and related effects on selected operators in relation to the responsible sourcing of selected minerals. The study, which was finalized in September, will be available electronically from December 2013. One major part of this study presents the results of a survey conducted with users of the iPoint Conflict Minerals Platform (iPCMP).
The iPCMP, which was launched in September 2012, enables companies to collect, manage, aggregate and report Conflict Minerals information, and thus meet the requirements of their customers and the regulatory authorities. Currently, this on-demand cross-industry software solution is designed for compliance with the US Conflict Minerals legislation. However, due to its adaptability, the iPCMP can be tailored to support companies affected by new or similar regulations from other countries, regions, continents, or economic unions. For over a decade, iPoint’s software solutions have been supporting customers in complying with various regulations and directives subject to constant change and country- or state-specific implementation provisions (e.g. RoHS, REACH).
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Transcript of speech by Karel De Gucht, European Commissioner for Trade, held at the BDI Event “Responsible Sourcing of Minerals from Conflict-Affected Regions” on September 3, 2013, in Brussels
European Commission, Directorate-General for Trade: Public consultation on a possible EU initiative on responsible sourcing of minerals originating from conflict-affected and high-risk areas
Article on the EU Conflict Minerals initiative and the iPoint Conflict Minerals Platform