On June 26, 2013, IPC submitted comments to the European Union (EU) Commission on its Possible EU Initiative on Responsible Sourcing of Minerals Originating from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas.
In its comments, IPC and its members urged the EU to proceed cautiously before implementing conflict minerals regulations. In light of the negative, unintended effects of Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank), the EU should carefully analyze any proposed measures. Given the number of obstacles inhibiting positive implementation of Dodd-Frank supply chain requirements, IPC recommended that the EU focus on measures that will promote the successful implementation of existing supply chain programs and regulations. These measures could include, but need not be limited to, support of in-region transparency and governance initiatives.
IPC supports the underlying goal of the conflict minerals measures contained in Dodd-Frank, but believes that the regulations implementing this law have placed great burdens on the private sector without having the intended positive effect on people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). In fact, there is mounting evidence of unintended negative consequences associated with companies’ efforts to prepare to address the situation through supply chain measures.
IPC further encouraged the EU Commission to carefully consider these and other comments before introducing legislation on responsible sourcing of minerals. IPC urged the EU Commission to avoid actions that will unduly burden EU manufacturing and commerce industries or cause unnecessary disruptions of the minerals trade, which is vital to the livelihood of the people of the DRC.
Read IPC’s full comments here.
IPC will host a conflict minerals conference for companies in the EU on October 23, 2013 in Brussels, Belgium. More information on this conference to come. For additional information on conflict minerals and IPC’s advocacy efforts, visit www.ipc.org/conflict-minerals. If you are interested in receiving updates on conflict minerals and IPC’s activities, please contact Fern Abrams, IPC director of government relations and environmental policy at FernAbrams@ipc.org.
For more background information on the EU’s conflict minerals initiative, see the May IPC blog entry: