Earlier this month, in a welcome contrast to a needlessly stringent U.S. approach to conflict minerals from Central Africa, the European Commission put forward a draft regulation to set up a system of supply chain due diligence self-certification of importers of minerals to the EU. The regulation would encourage industry self-certification of responsible imports of tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold from conflict-affected and high-risk areas.
The proposal is based on the OECD’s Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas, the credible international corporate due diligence benchmark. The EU self-certification system calls for the adherence to the five steps of the OECD due diligence guidance through monitoring and overseeing of purchases.
USCIB has played a key role coordinating business contributions to the OECD due diligence guidance, and we have advocated for the EU regulation on conflict minerals, working actively with BIAC, the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD to encourage responsible sourcing and to offset the disincentives created by Section 1502 of the U.S. Dodd-Frank law, which many observers believe encourages a de facto embargo of minerals exports from the Democratic Republic of Congo and other affected regions.
The OECD due diligence guidance was developed in line with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, both of which aim to advance supply chain due diligence practices and avoid the inadvertent consequences of Dodd-Frank.
Staff contact: Ronnie Goldberg