IPC Remains Engaged in Conflict Minerals: Update on OECD Meeting and European Union Consultation

As part of IPC’s conflict minerals advocacy efforts, IPC staff participated in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) Due Diligence meeting May 2-3, 2013. As part of the OECD meeting, representatives from the European Union (EU) Commission held a consultation to gather feedback for their conflict minerals legislation.

The gold due diligence guidance project was launched during the two-day meeting. In addition, the group discussed lessons learned from the tin, tantalum and tungsten due diligence guidance pilot. The OECD due diligence guidance was developed by a multi-national group with non-governmental organization (NGO) and industry participation and is cited in the SEC conflict minerals rule. The OECD Due Diligence meeting provided a positive update on ongoing efforts to support responsible sourcing of conflict minerals from conflict areas.

The EU Commission’s conflict minerals consultation provided valuable insights into the conflict minerals legislation that EU officials plan to propose by the end of 2014. Industry is significantly concerned that the conflict minerals legislation proposed by EU could be more burdensome and would overlay the existing Dodd-Frank conflict minerals regulation. For example, the EU is considering expanding the geographical scope beyond the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) region and addressing additional minerals to those covered by Dodd-Frank.

IPC and other industry stakeholders urged the EU to focus its resources on supporting “on-the-ground” initiatives instead of implementing a supply chain solution like Dodd-Frank, which has led to a de-facto embargo on minerals from the DRC region. The EU is under considerable political pressure to take some type of action on conflict minerals. Industry believes encouraging the EU to support the OECD due diligence guidance would be the least burdensome approach for EU conflict minerals legislation in order to avoid a new or competing regulatory regime. IPC strongly encourages all affected companies, especially those in the EU, to participate in the EU public consultation by the June 26, 2013 deadline. For more information, visit IPC’s website.

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