Last week, on April 14, the International Trade Committee of the European Parliament (INTA) voted on amendments to the EU’s conflict minerals regulation that were proposed by its members. The INTA voted to make mandatory the proposed voluntary system of certification for EU smelters and refiners. By a close vote (22-16) they rejected amendments seeking to extend this mandatory scheme to those who purchase minerals for the production of goods such as mobile phones and other electronics.
The draft regulation covers tin, tantalum and tungsten, their ores, and gold originating in conflict-affected and high-risk areas. Amendments proposing the extension of the scope of the legislation to other minerals and metals were rejected by the INTA committee.
On March 30, 2015, IPC, and a number of other associations issued a statement emphasizing the need for EU legislation to adhere to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) framework and those concepts that have been assessed in the regulatory impact assessment performed by the EU Commission.
The Members of European Parliament (MEPs) on the INTA committee also approved the establishment of a “European certification of responsibility” for “downstream operators,” such as electronics manufacturers.
The draft regulation adopted by the INTA committee will be voted on by the full European Parliament during their May 18 – 19 plenary session. During the plenary session, any member of the EU Parliament can offer an amendment, even those that were rejected by the INTA committee. IPC members with facilities in the EU are encouraged to contact their MEPs and urgethem to support the European Commission proposal for a voluntary program.