Tougher legislation on conflict minerals to impact 800,000 EU companies

29-05-2015 Sonia Naran

Earlier this month, Members of the European Parliament voted for tougher measures on conflict minerals. The upcoming legislation will enforce mandatory monitoring systems for the whole supply chain of conflict minerals such as tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold. It will require EU importers, processors and manufacturers to implement robust due diligence processes to ensure that their products are not financing conflict and serious human rights abuses. 

Parliament called for smelters and refiners to undergo a ‘compulsory, independent, third-party audit to check their "due diligence" practices’; whereas downstream companies will be obliged to provide detailed information on the actions they will take to identify and manage risk in their supply chains for the conflict minerals concerned.  It is estimated that 800,000 EU manufacturers, most of which are small or medium sized will be impacted by the impending legislation. Industries that may be particularly affected include the automotive, electronics, aerospace, packaging, construction, lighting, jewellery, industrial machinery and tooling industries.

Parliament has recognised the burden this may place on micro-businesses and small and medium-sized firms, asking the Commission to grant financial support to companies wishing to obtain certification through the EU's COSME programme (EU programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises).

To find out more about how this legislation will impact your company and for advice on how to achieve compliance, please contact us by:

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