Volume 52 (2018) / Issue 1
In April 2017, the EU adopted a new EU Regulation introducing a compulsory due diligence scheme for the trade in conflict minerals. This regulation is the latest milestone in the process of tightening the supply chain requirements concerning tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold. The aim of this process is to encourage companies to respect human rights and avoid contributing to conflict through their mineral sourcing practices by cultivating transparent mineral supply chains and sustainable corporate engagement in the mineral sector. Measures already in place include the US Dodd-Frank Act and the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Afflicted and High-Risk Areas. However, the former applies only to the Democratic Republic of Congo and its neighbouring countries. By contrast, the OECD Guidance is broader in material and geographic scope but stipulates only non-binding recommendations. The following article discusses these sets of rules. Moreover, it explains the details of the new EU Regulation and discusses the extent to which it stipulates new and stricter rules for the trade in (conflict) minerals.
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