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New regulation on conflict minerals – Supply chain due diligence obligations for EU importers

27 June 2017
On 17 May 2017, the European Parliament and the Council adopted Regulation 2017/821 laying down supply chain due diligence obligations for Union importers of tin, tantalum and tungsten, their ores, and gold originating from conflict-affected and high-risk areas. This text aims to prevent minerals trade from funding conflict and human rights violations. Whereas the Commission and Council had initially proposed voluntary checks, the European Parliament succeeded in including mandatory due diligence checks in the Regulation.
 
From 1 January 2021, EU importers shall adopt a supply chain policy for the minerals and metals which potentially originate from conflict-affected and high-risk areas. They shall communicate to suppliers and to the public up-to-date information on this policy. In addition, they shall carry out an audit via an independent third party in order to determine whether their supply chain due diligence practices comply with the Regulation. They shall also make available to their immediate downstream purchasers all information gained pursuant to their supply chain due diligence policy, and shall publicly report each year on their practices for responsible sourcing.