The European Conflict Minerals Regulation – What Are the Key Take away Points?

28 April 2017 | Paul Davies and Michael Green


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The European Conflict Minerals Regulation (the Regulation) was approved by the European Council on 3 April, 2017. Publication in the Official Journal of the European Union will be the next step in the process, and this could take 3-6 weeks. The Regulation will be directly applicable in all EU member states when it takes effect in January 2021.


The Regulation sets out certain rules for all importers into the EU of minerals or metals containing or consisting of tin, tantalum, tungsten, or gold (3TG). It includes an annex that provides a more detailed description of the specific metals and minerals that are covered. The Regulation will require EU smelters and refiners (SORs) that process 3TG to conduct due diligence if they are sourcing 3TG from “conflict affected and high risk areas”. 


Whilst the Regulation is directly applicable, each member state is required to enact domestic legislation that sets out the potential sanctions for non-compliance in its jurisdiction. Interestingly, the proposed regulation includes the majority of the same basic provisions as the US rules under the Dodd-Frank Act, but critically, several reporting obligations and the coverage of the regulation are wider than the US rules. 


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