On June 16, the European Union (EU) Commission, Council and Parliament agreed on a framework for conflict minerals legislation. Overall, the legislation will be less burdensome for IPC members and the electronics industry than previously proposed. While the EU Commission had originally proposed a voluntary system, the EU Parliament had voted for mandatory requirements for the entire supply chain. Under the agreement reached this week, due diligence requirements will apply only to the upstream portions of the whole supply chain.
The framework for legislation, which is a working document, will need technical work before it is finalized, including cooperation with the legal services of the European Commission. A vote in the European Parliament could take place before the end of the year, and would have to be followed by a formal adoption in the Council for the text to become law.
Over past four years, IPC has met with EU Commission staff, European Parliament Rapporteur Iuliu Winkler’s staff and several other MEP offices. In the meetings, IPC emphasized the burdens and unintended problems Dodd-Frank has caused, both for manufacturers and the miners in Africa it was intended to help. IPC encouraged the EU to adopt voluntary measures in alignment with the existing Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and other industry programs in order to minimize the burden of compliance.
IPC will continue to actively advocate for our members and industry on this important issue and will continue to keep you informed of any new developments regarding conflict minerals.