The 2010 Dodd-Frank Act regulates the disclosure by companies of the use of conflict minerals (tantalum, tin, gold tungsten) originating in the Democratic Republic of Congo or adjoining countries. It required the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to issue a final rule on the exact reporting modalities. This rule was adopted on 22 August and requires companies reporting under the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, whether foreign or domestic, to use a new form, called “Form SD” to disclose their use of aforementioned minerals if those minerals are necessary to the functionality or production of a product they manufacture or contract to manufacture. AIM-PROGRESS members could be concerned by this disclosure requirement, for example for certain types of packaging or promotional materials.
Subject companies will have to comply with this rule for calendar year 2013, with first reports due end of May 2014, and annually thereafter.
For details regarding disclosure obligations, please have check out the SEC’s website.
The OECD have also developed due diligence guidance for sourcing minerals from areas of conflict minerals and is currently coordinating a multi-stakeholder process to help companies and trade associations implement the guidance. The OECD guidance and related materials can be found on the OECD website .
While the OECD process is independent of the SEC, the SEC has recognized the importance of the OECD guidance: the Final Rules state that “due diligence measures must conform to a nationally or internationally recognized due diligence framework, such as the due diligence guidance approved by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).”