BANNOCKBURN, Ill. — On March 16, 2017, the European Union (EU) Parliament voted to adopt regulations regarding the sourcing of conflict minerals in high risk zones. The regulations, which require supply chain due diligence self-certification of tin, tantalum and tungsten, their ores, and gold originating in conflict-affected and high-risk areas, are mandatory for smelters and importers of raw materials and voluntary for downstream manufacturers whose products contain these minerals.
IPC – Association Connecting Electronics Industries supports the EU approach which concentrates on upstream importers and smelters which are closest to the mines and thereby most able to assess whether the minerals are associated with the funding of violence, human rights abuses, and damages to the environment.
IPC also appreciates that the EU regulation recognizes the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) guidelines for responsible sourcing of minerals, fostering alignment between various regional programs affecting the electronic industries’ global supply chains. Alignment of regulatory regimes reduces the promotes effectiveness and efficiency.
IPC looks forward to contributing to the work of the European Commission on the various guidelines and other supportive documents for companies covered by the regulation. For example, IPC supports the establishment of a process to clearly define the geographic areas as a “conflict-affected and high-risk area.” Businesses need clear guidance to identify “conflict-affected and high-risk areas” to make the system predictable and workable.
IPC will continue advocating for conflict minerals regulation that avoids actions that unduly burden industry or cause unnecessary disruptions of the minerals trade.