Major Impact on the Electronics Industry: SEC Publishes Draft Rule Requiring Source Reporting for Gold, Tin, Tantalum and Tungsten in Manufactured Products

On Wednesday, December 15th, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) voted unanimously to approve publication of a proposed rule implementing the conflict metals provisions in Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act. 

Under the Dodd-Frank law, companies whose manufactured goods contain metals refined from the minerals columbite-tantalite (coltan and tantalum), cassiterite (tin), gold, wolframite (tungsten), are required to:

1) Report annually to the SEC if the minerals did originate from the Democratic Republic of Congo or adjoining countries; and

2) Submit a due diligence plan with the company’s annual SEC report. These activities are supposed to begin in April 2011.

The proposed regulations will apply only to companies required to report to the SEC. However, I expect these requirements to spread throughout the supply chain as publicly traded companies drive these requirements down through their supply base.  The proposed rule, which is posted at http://www.sec.gov/rules/proposed.shtml, will be open for public comment until January 31, 2011.  For more information, visit our website at www.ipc.org/minerals or contact me at fabrams@ipc.org.

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