EU Conflict Mineral Rule — Requires Attention

Reminder: time is slimming for public feedback on an EU conflict minerals initiative.

Here’s the European Commission info page. Insider comments and notes follow below.

Insider comments and notes. The Commission says it will use results to help decide whether – and how in a reasonable and effective manner – to complement and/or continue on-going due diligence initiatives and support for good governance in mineral mining, especially in developing countries affected by conflict.

The consultation is open until June 26, 2013.

The contributions received, together with the identity of the contributor, will be published on the Internet, unless the contributor objects to publication of the personal data by checking the appropriate box in the questionnaire (see question 1.1. in the EC’s questionnaire, scroll down).

IPC’s PoV. The North American electronics association IPC believes that it may be impractical to encourage the EU to take no action and that “the best strategy is to encourage a voluntary regimen based on the OECD process,” according to a recent comment from IPC’s frontperson, Fern Abrams.

OECD process. The OECD process was developed by a multi-national group with NGO and industry participation. Although the OECD process is far from perfect, IPC and others believe it’s more flexible than Dodd-Frank and other regulatory schemes. Therefore the OECD process may be the best option in terms of not having a new/competing regulatory regimen. If interested, IPC has drafted suggestions for industry in responding to the EU’s questioning.

In the US. The US conflict mineral rule was put into place in summer of 2012. Companies are required to collect data in 2013. The first deadline for reporting is in spring of 2014.

Companies who do not yet have a compliance initiative are encouraged to contact Actio or preferred vendor. Quickly. And weigh in on the EU’s possible initiative — especially if you agree that the OECD process is preferable to the Dodd-Frank compliance requirements. Take action tout de suite. Schnell. Vlug. Rapidamente.

Cheers.

About Kal

Kal Kawar, CIH, PE, has a bachelor's in chemical engineering and a master's in industrial hygiene. His professional experience includes serving as staff industrial hygienist for IBM's New York semiconductor manufacturing facility, and as industrial hygienist for IBM’s US headquarters. Now executive vice president of Actio, Kal taps more than 20 years' worth of chemical engineering, industrial hygiene, and environmental engineering experience. His far-reaching expertise with global regulatory challenges created by EPA, TSCA, REACH, RoHS, WEEE – and hundreds of others – aid in developing Actio software solutions for MSDS management, raw material disclosure compliance, and product stewardship in a supply chain.
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