On March 27, the European Commission, the regulatory arm of the European Union, initiated a public consultation on a potential EU initiative comparable to the US conflict minerals program. The public consultation includes a lengthy online questionnaire designed to elicit views on whether and how to implement due diligence supply chain efforts supportive of good governance in mineral mining in countries affected by violence and instability. The public consultation remains open until June 26. Industry groups have expressed concern about the need for coordination between the U.S. and any other national or international conflict minerals regimes to avoid unnecessary confusion and compliance burden.
The EU announcement is available at http://trade.ec.europa.eu/consultations/index.cfm?consul_id=174, and the questionnaire may be accessed at http://ec.europa.eu/yourvoice/ipm/forms/dispatch?form=EuMin&lang=en. For prior posts on the SEC’s conflict minerals rule, see http://sustainability-counsel.com/2013/03/27/sec-hints-at-possible-clarification-of-conflict-minerals-gray-area/.